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Northern Tallgrass Prairie
National Wildlife Refuge

male bobolink
44843 County Road 19
Odessa, MN   56276
E-mail: northerntallgrassprairie@fws.gov
Phone Number: 320-273-2191
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The Northern Tallgrass Prairie Refuge protects habitat for grassland species, such as the bobolink.
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Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge

Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide a means of working with individuals, groups, private organizations, and government entities to permanently preserve a portion of the remaining remnant tracts of northern tallgrass prairie in Minnesota and Iowa. The Fish and Wildlife Service is acquiring remnant prairie tracts for the refuge in both easement and fee title interests from willing sellers.

Presently, the refuge is approximately 1,800 acres in size and consists of eight easement and four fee title tracts in seven Minnesota counties and one Iowa county. Field administration of all units acquired for the refuge will occur from eight existing Fish and Wildlife Service Wetland Management District and National Wildlife Refuge offices scattered throughout the project area established for the refuge.

When a tract of land is acquired for the refuge within the work area for one of these offices, the office will assume adiminstrative authority for the tract. The project leader of Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge is responsible for overseeing the administration of the entire refuge.

Getting There . . .
Refuge lands are/will be located at widely scattered locations throughout western Minnesota and northwestern Iowa. The project leader of Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge is located at the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge office, approximately eight miles east of Ortonville, MN, and one mile west of Odessa, MN. From Highway 7/75, take Big Stone County Road #19 south approximately three quarters of a mile.

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The wetland and northern tallgrass prairie habitats within the refuge provide important habitats for a large number of migratory birds, including songbirds, marsh and wading birds, waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and upland game birds. Approximately 243 species of birds are known to regularly use the area at sometime of the year, with 152 species breeding here.

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The refuge was established in 1999 to permanently preserve 77,000 acres of native prairie and buffer lands at widespread locations within the historic range of the northern tallgrass region of western Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

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Management Activities
All lands containing remnant northern tallgrass prairie will be managed in a manner that will provide for the long-term maintenance of the health and vigor of these habitats. Any upland areas acquired for the refuge that were previously in crop production or contain non-native plant communities will be restored to native northern tallgrass prairie habitat.

Prescribed burning will be the primary tool utilized to maintain prairie habitats. Where practical, short-term spring grazing may also be used to to manage and maintain these prairie habitats. Noxious weeds will be controlled through the use of chemical, mechanical, and biological methods. Any previously drained or altered wetlands located within refuge lands will be restored.