Description - The mission of these refuges and the Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
- The acreage for the NWRS as of 9/30/07 was 96,420,884 acres. The system encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges, 37 Wetland Management Districts (which include Waterfowl Production Areas in 205 counties), and 49 Coordination Areas which are managed by the states.
Recreation - Wildlife viewingis the primary recreational activity on the refuges, although individual refuges offer hunting, fishing, camping, photography and educational activities.
Climate - As throughout the region, climate varies drastically depending on elevation. Summers generally offer warm clear days with cool nights. Afternoon thunderstorms are often a possibility in the summer. In the winter, sunshine, with plenty of snow in the higher elevations, are ideal for winter activities. Harsh weather - including wind, cold, and snow - is possible throughout the winter and even throughout the year, in the highest elevations.
Maps and +driving directions to each South Dakota refuge are availble at the wildernet pages describing each refuge.