America's Great Outdoors
Much of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding lands were once part of the Great Black Swamp. The 1,500 square mile Great Black Swamp was a vast network of forests, wetlands, and grasslands. The refuge manages about 6,500 acres of wetland, grassland, and wooded habitat. It provides valuable habitat for a diversity of waterfowl and other migratory birds, resident wildlife, and endangered and threatened species. It provides a place for people to enjoy wildlife-dependent activities and learn about the complexities of the natural world through education and interpretive programming. The refuge adds to the richness of the community by holding in trust a portion of the natural heritage of the Great Lakes ecosystem for the continuing benefit of the American people.Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Much of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding lands were once part of the Great Black Swamp. The 1,500 square mile Great Black Swamp was a vast network of forests, wetlands, and grasslands. The refuge manages about 6,500 acres of wetland, grassland, and wooded habitat. It provides valuable habitat for a diversity of waterfowl and other migratory birds, resident wildlife, and endangered and threatened species. It provides a place for people to enjoy wildlife-dependent activities and learn about the complexities of the natural world through education and interpretive programming. The refuge adds to the richness of the community by holding in trust a portion of the natural heritage of the Great Lakes ecosystem for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photographer Rich Keen captured a tender moment between a bison & calf at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge.Located just northeast of Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,000-acre expanse of prairie, wetland and woodland habitat. The land has a unique story - it has survived the test of time and transitioned from farmland, to war-time manufacturing site, to wildlife sanctuary. It may be one of the finest conservation success stories in history and a place where wildlife thrives. 

Photographer Rich Keen captured a tender moment between a bison & calf at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge.

Located just northeast of Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,000-acre expanse of prairie, wetland and woodland habitat. The land has a unique story - it has survived the test of time and transitioned from farmland, to war-time manufacturing site, to wildlife sanctuary. It may be one of the finest conservation success stories in history and a place where wildlife thrives. 

Frogs love a rainy day to explore new ponds. Many small young frogs have been seen lately on Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Here’s a unique find on the refuge - an albino wood frog.This 43,000 acre National Wildlife Refuge includes over 20 lakes, three rivers and hundreds of marshes and woodland ponds. The Refuge is host to over 250 birds, including nesting bald eagles, scarlet tanagers, golden-wing warblers, and ruffed grouse. Tamarac is a premier site for a growing trumpeter swan population. Visitors can search for white-tail deer, porcupine, beaver, river otter, black bear, or the elusive gray wolf along the scenic auto tour route. Observation platforms with spotting scopes enhance your viewing opportunities. An attractive visitor center offers a spectacular vista of the marshes and trees that are typical of Tamarac Refuge. A theater presentation provides orientation to the life and legends of this unique area. Your purchase at the small gift shop of wildlife books and locally made crafts serves as a fund-raiser of the Friends of Tamarac for educational programs and habitat enhancements. Enjoy hiking trails, historic sites, hunting and fishing. The Visitor Center is open weekdays year round 8am-4pm as well as summer and fall weekends 10am-5pm.Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Frogs love a rainy day to explore new ponds. Many small young frogs have been seen lately on Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Here’s a unique find on the refuge - an albino wood frog.

This 43,000 acre National Wildlife Refuge includes over 20 lakes, three rivers and hundreds of marshes and woodland ponds. The Refuge is host to over 250 birds, including nesting bald eagles, scarlet tanagers, golden-wing warblers, and ruffed grouse. Tamarac is a premier site for a growing trumpeter swan population. Visitors can search for white-tail deer, porcupine, beaver, river otter, black bear, or the elusive gray wolf along the scenic auto tour route. Observation platforms with spotting scopes enhance your viewing opportunities. An attractive visitor center offers a spectacular vista of the marshes and trees that are typical of Tamarac Refuge. A theater presentation provides orientation to the life and legends of this unique area. Your purchase at the small gift shop of wildlife books and locally made crafts serves as a fund-raiser of the Friends of Tamarac for educational programs and habitat enhancements. Enjoy hiking trails, historic sites, hunting and fishing. The Visitor Center is open weekdays year round 8am-4pm as well as summer and fall weekends 10am-5pm.

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Moose in the mist.There was a heavy fog in the river valley this morning in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. This large bull moose was spotted eating his breakfast of Pacific willow leaves and branches near Headquarters. Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS

Moose in the mist.

There was a heavy fog in the river valley this morning in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. This large bull moose was spotted eating his breakfast of Pacific willow leaves and branches near Headquarters.

Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the largest tracts of wilderness in the East and is a critical sanctuary for a wide variety of animals. Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. The symbol of the Smokies, the American Black Bear, is perhaps the most famous resident of the park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the largest protected bear habitat in the East. Though populations are variable, biologists estimate approximately 1,500 bears live in the park, a density of approximately two bears per square mile. Photo: Charlie Choc (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the largest tracts of wilderness in the East and is a critical sanctuary for a wide variety of animals. Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. 

The symbol of the Smokies, the American Black Bear, is perhaps the most famous resident of the park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the largest protected bear habitat in the East. Though populations are variable, biologists estimate approximately 1,500 bears live in the park, a density of approximately two bears per square mile. 

Photo: Charlie Choc (www.sharetheexperience.org)

The sea otter version of a pedicure in Glacier Bay National Park.Photo: National Park Service

The sea otter version of a pedicure in Glacier Bay National Park.

Photo: National Park Service

Early morning take off over Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico. Established in 1939 to provide a critical stopover for migrating waterfowl, the refuge is well known for the thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl that winter here each year. Photo: Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Early morning take off over Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico. Established in 1939 to provide a critical stopover for migrating waterfowl, the refuge is well known for the thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl that winter here each year. 

Photo: Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org)

This kodiak bear in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge clearly doesn’t care about the refuge rules.Photo: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS

This kodiak bear in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge clearly doesn’t care about the refuge rules.

Photo: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS

In the battle between raccoon and sandhill crane, it appears we have a winner.

A raccoon attempts to snag an easy meal at one of the feeders set up to supply the Mississippi sandhills with extra calories during the nesting season at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. The two adult cranes decide that this will not happen on their watch and begin to display defensive behavior — the raccoon rethinks his strategy and decides to find lunch elsewhere! A juvenile crane (the drab colored individual) watches and learns in the background.

(Photo USFWS Camera Trap)

Now that is a mouthful! What a great photo of a American white pelican taken at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.Photo: John Savage/National Wildlife Refuge Association

Now that is a mouthful! What a great photo of a American white pelican taken at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

Photo: John Savage/National Wildlife Refuge Association