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Long Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

A group of sandhill cranes stands in a dry agricultural field, feeding on waste grain.  A number of the large, gray birds fly over those feeding on the ground.
12000 353 ST SE
Moffit, ND   58560
E-mail: longlake@fws.gov
Phone Number: 701-387-4397
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Sandhill cranes are the oldest bird species alive today, existing virtually unchanged for millions of years. The Refuge is a primary fall migration staging area for cranes.
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Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located in south-central North Dakota, was established in 1932 as a migratory bird refuge by President Herbert Hoover. The 22,300 acre refuge consists of a 15,000-acre saline basin that is 18 miles long and is appropriately named "Long Lake." Long Lake is relatively shallow; it is normally 3 to 4 feet deep. During extended wet periods, Long Lake reaches depths up to seven feet.

The shallow depths and lengths of meandering shoreline provide vast expanses of habitat that attract migrating and nesting species of waterfowl, shorebirds, and rare migrant birds. In recognition of the Refuge's significance in the ongoing effort to conserve wild birds and their habitat, Long Lake was designated as a "Globally Important Bird Area" in 2001. Also, due to the special importance of Long Lake NWR to migrating shorebirds, the Refuge was recently recognized as a "Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network" site.

Getting There . . .
Long Lake NWR is located about 3 miles southeast of Moffit, North Dakota. From U.S. Highway 94 at Sterling, North Dakota, turn south on U.S. Highway 83. Proceed 12 miles south to Moffit, North Dakota. Turn east on 128th Avenue SE and follow the signs to Refuge headquarters. The visitor center is located on the north side of the lake.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Most of the Refuge centers on Long Lake; however, 1,000 acres of small, scattered wetlands are interspersed within 6,300 acres of rolling prairie. The Refuge's native uplands provide a painter's pallet of wildflowers that begin their exhibition in the early spring.

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Long Lake has had a long history of sporadic avian botulism outbreaks. The disease is caused by a bacterial toxin that attacks a bird's central nervous system.

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Management Activities
Prescribed burning, grazing, re-establishing and maintaining native grasses, restoring and creating wetlands, haying, and creating wildlife food plots are a few of the tools used to encourage habitat diversity on the Refuge.

Long Lake NWR staff works closely with conservation groups and private landowners to attain management goals. Ducks Unlimited has worked on numerous projects on the Refuge, including nesting islands, predator fence barriers, dikes, and water control structures. The Refuge staff also provides assistance and management expertise to private landowners.