What We Do

Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything we do from projects and research to the recreational activities offered. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.   

At the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex a variety of tools are used across the four refuges to ensure healthy habitats for native wildlife. These management tools include:  

  • Habitat restoration  

  • Cooperative farming 

  • Agriculture 

  • Invasive species management 

  • Prescribed fire 

  • Conservation easements 

  • Inventory and monitoring  

  • Water management 

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex Vision 

We are ambassadors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We connect people with opportunities to actively engage with the conservation of our local wildlife and habitats. Together, we will move the biological needle with purpose and sound science. As leaders in our communities of practice, we are collaborative, dependable, and focus on the growth of the community and ourselves. 

Management and Conservation

Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCPs) ensure that each refuge unit is managed to fulfill the purpose(s) for which it was established. The development of a CCP is a citizen-centered process. Developing long-term plans relies on public participation and input. Local communities, volunteers and Friends of refuges, state conservation agencies, and partners help guide refuge management through the development of each CCP. CCPs also provide an opportunity to improve and increase recreation critical to connecting people with nature. 

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Steigerwald Lake, Pierce and Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuges Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex Draft Compatibility Determinations 

The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, including Pierce, Franz and Ridgefield NWRs has prepared compatibility determinations for Education and Interpretation, Wildlife Observation and Photography and Research. These CDs renew and update existing uses. The Service will accept...