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Cokeville Meadows
National Wildlife Refuge

American bitterns have brown and tan streaks that run longitudinally down their neck and belly. When approached, they direct their beaks to the sky and blend into the reeds.
P.O. Box 189
Cokeville, WY   83114
E-mail: seedskadee@fws.gov
Phone Number: 307-279-2800
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The American bittern is well-known both for its camouflaged feathering and its unique oonk-a-lunk call.
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Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located south of Cokeville, Wyoming, is centered on a 20-mile stretch of the Bear River and its associated wetlands and uplands. The Refuge was established in 1993.

Wetlands within the acquisition area provide excellent habitat for a variety of migratory and resident wildlife species. The Refuge supports one of the highest densities of nesting waterfowl in Wyoming, provides nesting habitat to colony nesting bird species, has excellent potential for reintroduction of trumpeter swans, and provides habitat for resident species, including greater sage grouse, mule deer, elk, and pronghorn.

Because it was only recently established, Cokeville Meadows NWR is not open to public use. However, over the next several years, Refuge staff will begin public planning processes that may open Refuge lands to a variety of public uses such as wildlife viewing, interpretation, fishing, hunting, environmental education, and photography. Some of these activities may be contingent on acquisition of additional lands so the public has clear boundaries on which to recreate without infringing on adjacent private lands.

Getting There . . .
To reach the Refuge, travel south from Cokeville, Wyoming, on State Highway 30. The acquisition boundary of Cokeville Meadows NWR begins about one mile south of Cokeville, Wyoming and continues 16 miles to the south. Highway 30 forms the eastern acquisition boundary of the Refuge. Non-contiguous Refuge lands are located within this acquisition boundary intermingled by tracts of private land. There are currently no visitor facilities located on the Refuge. Cokeville, Wyoming is located about 7 miles northeast of the Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming tri-state boundary.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Cokeville Meadows NWR was established to protect wetland and riparian habitat associated with the Bear River that is important to a diversity of migratory birds.

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There is little documented information on pre-European cultures on the Refuge. A "Shosonean" Native American culture existed in the region up to the time of early exploration and occupancy by Euro-Americans.

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The refuge is closed to public access.

Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
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Management Activities
Cokeville Meadows NWR is a relatively new and growing Refuge with a limited staff. Since its inception, Cokeville Meadows NWR has been managed as a satellite of Seedskadee NWR, 75 miles to the east. While the approved acquisition boundary for the Refuge totals 26,657 acres, only 8,106 acres have been purchased or protected through conservation easements to date. Land acquisition is ongoing from willing sellers only.

Newly acquired lands are posted with boundary signs and evaluated for a variety of factors. Local ranchers and Refuge managers work together on Refuge projects, including irrigation, weed control, tract cleanup, fence maintenance, and conversion of marginal croplands to permanent native vegetation. Ranchers also provide food plots for wildlife and implement selective haying and grazing activities. In exchange, ranchers receive hay, crop, and grazing shares. This management regime maintains the vigor of wet meadow and other vegetation that is critical for wildlife.

Refuge staff also work closely with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to identify and achieve management goals and objectives and to conduct annual wildlife inventories.