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National Wildlife Refuge

Purple prairie coneflowers and grasses frame a wetland nestled in the James River valley.
7745 11th St. SE
Pingree, ND   58476
E-mail: arrowwood@fws.gov
Phone Number: 701-285-3341
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Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge provides vital habitat for migrating waterfowl and other waterbirds and nesting habitat for ducks, sharp-tailed grouse and bobllink.
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Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge

Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is an important link in a chain of refuges extending from the prairie lands of the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. Located along the James River in east-central North Dakota, Arrowwood NWR is 15,934 acres in size and is made up of lakes, marshes, prairie grasslands, wooded coulees, and cultivated fields.

As the James River meanders its way across the prairie and through the Refuge, it passes through four naturally occurring riverine lakes. These lakes have been modified to enhance water management capabilities and provide a variety of wetland habitats.

Arrowwood NWR is the administrative center for the Arrowwood NWR Complex. The Complex includes approximately 75,000 acres of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands in a nine-county area of central and eastern North Dakota. In addition to Arrowwood NWR, the following areas are part of the Complex: Chase Lake NWR and Wetland Management District (WMD), Valley City WMD, and Arrowwood WMD.

Getting There . . .
The Refuge headquarters is located 26 miles north of Jamestown and about 23 miles south of Carrington. From Jamestown, travel north on Highway 281 to Edmunds. At Edmunds, go east on County Road 44 for 5.5 miles and turn north on the headquarters road. From Carrington, travel south on Highway 281 to Edmunds. Turn east on County Road 44 for 5.5 miles, and turn north on the headquarters road. There are signs on Highway 281 and County Road 44 directing visitors to the headquarters.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Arrowwood NWR is primarily made up of wetland and upland habitat. Three natural pools, Arrowwood Lake, Mud Lake, and Jim Lake, are large water areas.

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While Arrowwood NWR was established in 1935 as a resting and breeding ground for ducks and geese, the Refuge staff now manages habitats for many species of prairie wildlife.

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Management Activities
Arrowwood NWR is managed primarily to attract waterfowl during migration, but it also provides excellent nesting habitat for ducks, geese, grebes, shorebirds, and upland perching birds. Tools used to manage the lands include prescribed burning, grazing, mowing, and cultivation. Wetlands are managed using canals and water control structures to manipulate water levels to encourage plant growth desirable to wildlife.

Burning has been used on the Refuge since 1968 to restore, change, and maintain a diversity of plant communities in order to restore and perpetuate native wildlife species. Goals of resource management burns include restoration of native grass species, reduction and control of non-native species, control of woody species, control of noxious weeds, and maintenance and rejuvenation of quality nesting cover for waterfowl.

Grazing is used for many of the same reasons as burning. Sometimes grazing is used in conjunction with prescribed fire to achieve a desired effect. Several areas on the Refuge are farmed with small grains to reduce weeds, prepare sites for planting of native species or dense nesting cover, and to provide winter food and cover for resident wildlife.