Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge
- Watchable Wildlife, Wilderness Areas, Wildlife Refuges, Hunting Outfitters, Hiking/Backpacking
- General info
Located in the Bitterroot Valley of southwestern Montana; 25 miles south of Missoula. Majestic scenery dominates with the 9,000 foot Bitterroot Mountains located across the Bitterroot River to the west. Between 100,000 and 150,000 people visit the refuge annually. Habitat is primarily riparian and consists of cottonwood and ponderosa pine overstory with 13 man-made impoundments ranging in size from 5 to 80 acres. Wildfowl Lane, a county road, bisects the lower half of the refuge and provides excellent, diverse “watchable wildlife” viewing and provides year-round access to a fully accessible 140-acre nature trail recreation area along the river. Waterfowl hunting and archery hunting for white-tailed deer is allowed. A resident pair of bald eagles and several pairs of osprey nest annually on the refuge, which provides habitat for 235 bird species including 105 confirmed nesters. Common mammals include white-tailed deer, coyote, otter, porcupine, Columbian ground squirrel, and yellow-bellied marmots. The refuge maintains a tremendous environmental education program for the local schools and University systems, and serves as the State Coordinator for the annual Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, as part of the national “Conservation Through the Arts” program.
From Missoula, follow Highway 93 south to Florence. Take Eastside Highway 203 south eight miles to Wildfowl Lane. The Refuge can also be accessed from Highway 93 at the Stevensville cutoff road (269). Follow this road one mile into Stevensville. Turn left at Hwy. 203, then one block to Wildfowl Lane or continue on into Stevensville along Main Street to Third Street. The Refuge office is located at 115 W. Third.
Reprinted from www.recreation.gov
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