"Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals."
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Lands protected through the National Wildlife Refuge System are in public ownership to meet the lifelong habitat needs of fish, wildlife and plant resources. The American public expects that refuge habitat should be protected or enhanced to meet those needs for the benefit of current and future generations.

National Wildlife Refuges manage a full range of habitat types – wetlands; prairies; coastal and marine areas; temperate, tundra and boreal forests. Managing these habitats is a complex web of controlling or eradicating invasive species, using fire in a prescribed manner, assuring adequate water resources, and assessing external threats like development or contamination.