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North Platte
National Wildlife Refuge

A young girl peers through a glass bottom bucket into the wetland waters at North Platte National Wildlife Refuge.
115 Railway Street
Scottsbluff, NE   69631
E-mail: crescentlake@fws.gov
Phone Number: 308-635-7851
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A young student investigates plants and animals in a wetland through a glass bottom bucket.
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North Platte National Wildlife Refuge

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located 8 miles northeast of Scottsbluff in the Nebraska panhandle. Superimposed over Bureau of Reclamation irrigation projects, the four Refuge units consist of Winters Creek, Lake Alice, portions of Lake Minatare, and Stateline Island (located south of Henry, Nebraska).

Getting There . . .
Lake Minatare and Winters Creek: From US Highway 26, travel north on Sugar Factory Road approximately 5 miles to Lake Minatare Road. Turn east and travel approximately 6 miles to Stonegate Road. Turn north on Stonegate, The entrance to Lake Minatare is approximately 2 miles; the Winters Creek entrance is just beyond on the opposite side of the road. Lake Alice: From US Highway 26, travel north on Sugar Factory Road to County Road C (approximately 7 miles). Turn east on County Road C approximately 2 miles to the Lake Alice entrance. Stateline Island: From U.S. Highway 26 at Henry, Nebraska, travel south on Holloway Road approximately 1 mile to the entrance and parking area.

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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

Many wildlife species use the Refuge. Nebraska includes 413 bird species on its official bird list, 228 of which occur on North Platte NWR.

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The 2,722-acre North Platte NWR was established by Executive Order under President Wilson on August 21, 1916, as "a preserve and breeding ground for native birds."

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Management Activities
Much of the land that is now North Platte NWR had been over-grazed for decades. With the use of proper grazing methods, rest, and prescribed burning, the grasslands are slowly improving.

Since the majority of the Refuge is an overlay on Bureau of Reclamation irrigation projects, water management is not always possible. Refuge water rights are junior to the primary purpose of these impoundments for irrigation. However, migrating waterfowl and other water birds use these waters extensively. The American Bird Conservancy designated Lake Minatare as a "globally significant" wintering area for waterfowl.

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife program is very active in the Panhandle of Nebraska. A full-time Private Lands Biologist is stationed at the Refuge office to work with private landowners to manage wetland restoration and development of grassland habitat for wildlife.