Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you Recreate Responsibly.

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information.
  • Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge Established in Maine

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquired the first parcel of land in southern Maine for the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) with the purchase of a 48-acre forested property in South Berwick and Berwick.

Great Thicket NWR in Maine Press Release

Around the Refuge

Hunt Permits Available Online

Hunting Promo

Hunt permits will be available online for purchase beginning Monday, August 16, 2021, for the upcoming hunt season. Hunters must first create a account in order to make their purchase.

Read more

Sense of Wonder Art Contest

Matzke SOW May

Express your love and appreciation of the refuge through photography, poetry, and other art media during this year-long celebration of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge's 50th anniversary.

Sense of Wonder Art Contest

Rachel Carson's Conservation Champions: Businesses for a Greener Future

Inspired by the legacy of Rachel Carson and 50 years of conservation in her name, the refuge, with input from community members, has developed a voluntary community conservation project that seeks to inspire positive environmental actions to benefit local communities, wildlife, and habitats.

Rachel Carson's Conservation Champions Information
Celebrating 50 Years

Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation

Refuge 50th Anniversary Logo 200 px

The latest post in the "Sense of Wonder in the Field” blog series is hot off the press! Enjoy this delightful read about feeling an unexpected sense of place in various regions that are often thought of as drastically different. Join former botany intern Shannon Matzke as she reflects on the wonder of nature's connections and how they can make a south Louisiana native feel right at home in southern Maine.(background artwork courtesy of Danielle Lehoux/Lehoux Art)

50th Anniversary Blog Posts

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS