- This 1,680-acre refuge is slightly less than half in Service ownership. A large shallow lake basin covers much of the refuge, with water absent during some years. The alkaline nature of the lake precludes much vegetation development. A low dam on the east end of the lake adds to the capacity during wet years.
The refuge was established as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Besides many migratory water and song birds, the refuge has pronghorn antelope and black-tailed prairie dogs. The mountain plover has been observed irregularly.
The unit is within the Bureau of Land Management's Area of Critical Environmental Concern for the Big Bend of the Milk River, with huge encampment sites and bison kill areas surrounding the refuge.
Hewitt Lake NWR is located in northeastern Montana just west of Nelson Reservoir in Phillips County.