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National Wildlife Refuge

From a bank of the Green River, black and golden cliffs rise up on the far shore.  Light green vegetation grows on the far shoreline up to the cliff edges.
37 Miles North on Highway 372
Green River, WY   82935
E-mail: seedskadee@fws.gov
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A view of the Green River on Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge.
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Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in southwestern Wyoming. The name Seedskadee originated from the Shoshone Indian word "Sisk-a-dee-agie" meaning "river of the prairie hen." The 26,400-acre Refuge protects a mosaic of riparian, wetland, and upland shrub habitats along 36 miles of the Green River. The river is an oasis that bisects the vast high desert sagebrush plains of southwest Wyoming.

Seedskadee NWR was established in 1965 as mitigation for the loss of habitat when Flaming Gorge and Fontenelle dams were constructed. The riparian corridor is an important migration route and nesting area for a wide variety of migratory waterfowl and passerine bird species.

Refuge lands are rich in historic and cultural resources because the area was used by nomadic Indian tribes, fur trappers, and early pioneers. Today, approximately 10,000 people visit the Refuge annually, and more than 20 educational and civic organizations participate in environmental education or volunteer programs.

Getting There . . .
From Green River, Wyoming, travel west on I-80 about 6 miles to the La Barge Road (Highway 372) exit. Continue north about 27 miles on Highway 372 to the main entrance sign for the Refuge. Turn right onto the gravel entrance road and travel 2.5 miles to the Refuge headquarters. The Refuge is located approximately 1 hour from the Rock Springs airport, 3 hours east of the Salt Lake City Airport, or 3 hours south of the Jackson, Wyoming airport.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The riparian habitat at Seedskadee NWR is made up of cottonwoods, willows, and many other plants that are restricted to flood plains or areas with permanent subsurface water.

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The first recorded humans in this area arrived when continental ice sheets receded north.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
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Management Activities
Four primary habitat types occur on Seedskadee NWR. The forested riparian habitat occurs along the Green River and includes a mix of narrow leaf cottonwood trees and willows. Efforts to protect, enhance, and restore this habitat include protecting trees from wildfires and beaver damage, restoration of favorable river flows to encourage natural regeneration of trees, restoration of river oxbows to improve water availability to stream bank trees and shrubs, fencing the Refuge boundary to reduce trespass grazing by domestic livestock, and the creation of fenced enclosures to protect small young trees and shrubs from over-browsing by species such as deer and moose.

A second major habitat type is the upland sagebrush and grass habitat. Management of these areas includes protection from domestic livestock grazing and the use of prescribed burns.

Seven wetland management units make up the third major habitat type. Wetland units are managed by manipulating water levels to provide nesting, feeding, and migration habitat for a variety of wetland-dependent species. Other tools used to manage this habitat type include prescribed burns, mowing, and treatments to reduce weed infestations.

The river is the final major habitat type on the Refuge. In 1965, the Green River was dammed 7 miles above the Refuge boundary to create Fontenelle Reservoir. The reservoir created an excellent cold water fishery. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and two species of cutthroat trout are co-managed by the Refuge and Wyoming Game and Fish Department staff to provide outstanding sport fishing opportunities. Various rock structures have been placed in the river to improve habitat for trout, aquatic insects, and stream bank vegetation.