US Fish & Wildlife Service
Date of this Version
Annual Narrative Report Calendar Year 2011
Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established on August 4, 1935 under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act by Executive Order 7142. The purpose of the refuge as stated in the executive order is “as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.” Acquisition funding came from Duck Stamp sales and the Emergency Conservation Fund Of 1933.
The 71,772-acre Valentine NWR is located in the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska. The Sandhills contain the largest remaining stands of mid and tall grass native prairie left in North America. The refuge is a unique and ecologically important component of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The refuge has about 49,000 acres of grassy, undulating sand dunes, 13,000 acres of sub-irrigated meadows, and 10,000 acres of shallow lakes and marshes. The refuge is home to 271 species of birds, 59 species of mammals, and 22 species of reptiles and amphibians. The refuge is important to nesting and migrating waterfowl and is also one of the few places where good numbers of sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens can be found in the same area. Several threatened or endangered birds stop at the refuge during migration. Two listed plants and one listed insect are also found here. Most of the native flora and fauna found here historically are still present today.
The refuge is part of a complex administered from Fort Niobrara NWR. Valentine NWR is in Cherry County with a sub-headquarters located on Hackberry Lake, 17 miles south of the town of Valentine on US 83 then 13 miles west on State Spur 16B. Valentine National Wildlife Refuge staff also manages the Yellowthroat Wildlife Management Area in Brown County (see J.3) and four easements (see F.13).