Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

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OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge’s official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the 2-sided, 12 page color brochure that is available for visitors. The brochure touches on the history of the refuge, watchable wildlife and public use opportunities, highlights the diversity of habitats and various wildlife species and provides information for planning your visit. 

This audio version is 38 minutes and 24 seconds long, and is divided into 18 sections. A map of the refuge is in the center of the brochure. You can listen straight through or choose which sections to hear. Sections range from one to three minutes on average. 

A team audio-described this brochure during the February 2021  Descriptathon led by the Uni Description team from the University of Hawaii and National Park Service. We enjoyed working on it and hope you find it useful.

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OVERVIEW: Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, located in northwestern Minnesota, is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, within the Department of the Interior. Agassiz part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of over 560 refuges protected and managed for wildlife habitat and people.  The 61,500 acre refuge is situated 20 miles northeast of the city of Thief River Falls, in the aspen parkland transitional zone between the tallgrass prairie to the west and the coniferous forest to the east. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the refuge in 1937. Its primary purpose was to be "a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife".  With over 300 species of birds, each year, many visitors come to enjoy the splendid birding opportunities and for the chance to catch a glimpse of a moose, wolf or black bear. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the refuge directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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IMAGE: Front Cover

DESCRIPTION:  The cover is a full-page color photograph. On calm waters a small diving duck is swimming. At first glance the duck appears black and white, but with the sun shining it shows iridescent blue and purple feathers on it's head. It has a dark grey beak. Black feathers cover its face and part of its neck. The black feathers on the top of its back are matte. White feathers cover the back of its head, neck, and side of its body. The water is green and blue, the pink of the ducks feet shine through the ripples. 

CAPTION: Drake Bufflehead

CREDIT: J. Maslowski, US Fish and Wildlife Service

RELATED TEXT: The first line at the top of the page reads "U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service" in bold white letters against a black background. The next line reads "Aggasiz" in white bold text and the following line reads "National Wildlife Refuge" in italicized white text. 

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TEXT: Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order on March 23, 1937.

Agassiz is located in northwestern Minnesota in the aspen parkland transitional zone between the tallgrass prairie to the west, and the coniferous forest to the east. Open water and freshwater marshes occupy 37,400 acres of the refuge. Extensive areas of trees, shrubs, and grasses are found on an additional 24,100 upland acres. Agassiz is a total of 61,500 acres of wildlife habitat.

Initially founded as Mud Lake Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, the name was changed to Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in 1961 for the vast ancient body of water, Glacial Lake Agassiz, that produced the exceedingly flat terrain characterizing the area today. 

IMAGE 1 of 1: Background water scene

Behind the text is a partially transparent background photo with tall green evergreen trees to the left. This photo is an enlarged version of the Wilderness Image photo at the bottom left hand corner of the page. 

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IMAGES and TEXT: Wilderness Area

IMAGE 1 of 4: Wilderness Image

DESCRIPTION: [A vertical color photograph of a tree lined lake and a bright blue sky. Tall green conical evergreen trees, with an understory of reddish-brown shrubs line the water's edge. The lake is irregular in shape, narrow in the front left of the photo but expanding out back and towards the right. The water is bright blue reflecting the nearly cloudless sky, with small clumps of lily pads dotting the calm water's surface. Shadows of the trees extend across the water towards the viewer. Branches from a shrub reach into the photo from the bottom right corner.]

CAPTION: Wilderness Image

CREDIT: J.Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 2 of 4: Background water scene

DESCRIPTION: [An enlarged and partially transparent version of the previous photo titled Wilderness Image covers the full background of the page.]

CREDIT: J.Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 3 of 4: Labrador tea

DESCRIPTION: [A small horizontal color photo focused on a plant with small white flowers on a blurred green background. A single stem of the plant holds multiple narrow oval shaped leaves that taper to a point at each end. The leaves are green with a thin maroon outline along the edges, and appear slightly wrinkled in texture. At the top of the stem are approximately 12 small white flowers. Each flower sits at the top of a long light green stem expanding from one central point, creating a hemispheric shaped cluster. The flowers are pure white in color, with five petals each and long stamens sticking up in the air.]

CAPTION: Labrador tea

CREDIT: B. Siverhus

IMAGE 4 of 4: Pink moccasin flower

DESCRIPTION: [A small, vertical color photo focused on a pink orchid like flower, against a blurred background of green plants. The flower sits on top of a long leafless stem extending up the center of the photo. The stem curves to the left at the top, opening to one large pinkish purple flower that hangs diagonally downwards. One larger petal sits at the bottom middle of the flower, ballooning out to the front with a seam down the middle, loosely resembling a pair of lungs. Four flat smaller petals drape over the top of the flower.]

CAPTION: Pink moccasin flower

CREDIT: B. Siverhus

In 1976, 4,000 acres in the north- central portion of the Refuge was designated as “Wilderness” and is managed under the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is one of the most westerly extensions of black spruce tamarack bog in Minnesota. Two lakes in this area, Whiskey and Kuriko, were formed by deep peat fires which occurred prior to settlement of the area. 

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IMAGES and TEXT: Watchable Wildlife

IMAGE 1 of 3: Binocular icon

DESCRIPTION: [Small black icon of binoculars. A thin black line creates the outline in the shape of a square with rounded corners. The inside of the square is transparent except for a black silhouette of a pair of binoculars.] 

IMAGE 2 of 3: Blue Goose icon

DESCRIPTION: [Blue and white silhouette of a goose flying to the left. The goose is seen from the side and appears to be in mid flight. The top of the goose forms a flat line from it's neck through tail. A round head with a small triangular beak sits at the end of it's long neck. The goose has long wings flapped down beyond its fat belly with feet sticking out parallel to its tail. The goose is blue except for its white belly and cheeks.]

CAPTION: This “Blue Goose” symbolizes the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of over 560 refuges protected and managed for wildlife, habitat and people.

IMAGE 3 of 3: Geese

DESCRIPTION: [Horizontal color photo of an adult Canada goose and it's five babies swimming. Adult goose is seen from the side, buoyant in the water. It has brown wings and tail and a white belly. A light colored chest leads to it's long upright black neck. It's head is black with a round black eye set in the upper portion of it face, close to it's flat black beak. A white patch runs from behind it's eye down under it's chin. Five babies swim with the adult, one in front and four behind. The babies have fluffy feathers that are soft yellow with some light brown striping that varies by individual. The necks of the young geese are much shorter than the adults and they have relatively smaller beaks. All of the geese swim across a bright blue body of water, with small ripples and waves across the surface. A dense patch of brown reeds grow in the background. Light green algae floats on the surface of the water under the reeds. One or two green reeds can be seen among the brown, likely indicating the first growth of spring.]

CAPTION: Canada goose and goslings

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

Wildlife observation opportunities are best in the early morning or late afternoon hours, when animals are foraging for food.

Waterfowl Observation Periods

• Canada geese and trumpeter swans start arriving in mid March;

• Ducks start arriving in early April;

• May through mid June is the best time to observe ducks, when their colorful spring plumage makes identification easier;

• Goslings can be observed as early as the first week in May, and ducklings as early as the third week in May;

• Peak fall populations of Canada geese and ducks occurs from late September through October.

• Other Popular Viewing Opportunities

• Sandhill Cranes: April 25th through May 5th and September 25th through October 10th

• Franklin’s Gulls: May 1st through July 15th

• Warblers: May 15th through May 25th

• Sparrow species: May 15th through May 25th

• Shorebirds: May 20th through 30th and August 15th through September 15th

• Moose Calves: May 15th through June 15th

• Moose Rut: September 15th through October 31st

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IMAGES and TEXT: Public Use Opportunities

IMAGE 1 of 6: Background, Mud River Pool

DESCRIPTION: A full page mostly transparent background image shows a marshy shoreline with plant life that juts into shallow water. There are three land protrusions in the foreground, mid-ground, and background. Faint outlines of marshy vegetation like grasses, reeds, and low bushes are visible. The bottom of the photograph shows the tips of grasses. A line of bushes or small trees can be seen in the background against a cloudy sky.

CAPTION: Background, Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge- Mud River Pool


IMAGE 2 of 6: Auto-drive icon

DESCRIPTION: This symbol features a side view of a car with thin dashed lines around the perimeter of a rectangle with rounded corners.

IMAGE 3 of 6: Hiking trail icon

DESCRIPTION: This symbol features a stick symbol of a person wearing a backpack, leaning forward and using a hiking stick to propel itself forward. This stick figure is centered within a rectangle with rounded corners.

IMAGE 4 of 6: Observation deck icon

DESCRIPTION: This symbol features a tall structure centered within a rectangle with rounded corners. The structure has a flat base from which two stilts with a central x brace stretch upwards to support a room with a low pitched roof.

IMAGE 5 of 6: Hunting icon

DESCRIPTION: This symbol features a stick figure holding a the butt of a rifle to its cheek, as though preparing to shoot, centered within a rectangle with rounded corners. 

IMAGE 6 of 6: Hunting at sunrise

DESCRIPTION: This landscape photograph features silhouettes of a taller and shorter person in loose coats holding rifles. The adult in a brimmed hat points upward into the distance while the child looks to where the adult points. They are surrounded by tall grasses that are also silhouetted against a brilliant glowing orange sky with three lighter bands of peachy flat clouds. A warm amber halo surrounds the figures.

CAPTION: Youth hunting at sunrise


The majority of the refuge is designated as a wildlife sanctuary and closed to all public access to allow wildlife to breed and raise their young free from human disturbance. Lost Bay Habitat Drive is a four-mile self-guided auto drive that starts at Refuge Headquarters, and is open seasonally May though mid-October as conditions allow.

The refuge offers 3 hiking trails: Maakstad Hiking Trail (1/4-mile) along the auto drive. Headquarters Hiking Trail (1/2-mile) located at Headquarters, and Rodahl Hiking Trail (1.5-miles) located by Farmes Pool. Hiking is only allowed on the auto drive and designated hiking trails. In addition to the drive  and trails, observation decks with spotting scopes give visitors the chance to scan for wildlife across the landscape. For a true bird’s- eye view of the refuge visitors can climb the 100 foot tower located near headquarters. A key must be obtained at the office during office hours. These public use opportunities are open from May through mid-October during daylight hours. 

Several different hunting opportunities are available on the Refuge. Please see the hunting brochure for specific details and regulations.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Managing for Diversity

IMAGE 1 of 3: Red-necked grebe

DESCRIPTION: This square photograph features a multi-colored bird submerged in water nearly up to its rust-red neck, swimming towards the submerged plants poking out of the water in the lower right hand corner. Its back is mottled brown, its cheek is white, and the top and back of its head is dark. A stringy, mossy glop stretches from his beak to the water below. 

CAPTION: Red-necked grebe

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 2 of 3: Yellow warbler

DESCRIPTION: A round, bright, butter-yellow bird perches on a thin woody branch with bright green leaves. In this square photograph, the bird has light vertical stripes on its chest and its beak is wide open as though it is singing as loud as possible. 

CAPTION: Yellow warbler

CREDIT: B.Siverhus / USFWS

IMAGE 3 of 3: Greater yellowlegs

DESCRIPTION: A small bird with charcoal, heather, and white speckled feathers stands gawkily on very tall jointed mustard-yellow legs. It has a light breast, big dark eyes, and a long thin beak. It stands in a muddy patch of earth that is surrounded by water in this square photograph. 

CAPTION: Greater yellowlegs

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

Refuge staff manage habitats to benefit various wildlife species. The refuge has a system of dikes and water control structures that allow refuge staff to raise and lower water levels in wetland impoundments (pools) at different times of year. This is a vital management tool specifically for waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. Seasonal timing of water depth fluctuations not only help produce various stages of marsh habitats for water-dependent birds, but it also allows refuge staff to implement different control methods in the ongoing fight against invasive cattails and common reed infestation. The ratio of open water to vegetation ideally should be about 50/50 to provide the optimum wildlife habitat.

The variety of emergent vegetation (cattails, bulrushes and sedges) seen throughout the wetlands, provide shelter to a variety of nesting birds. Ducks rely on sago pondweed, duckweed, and sedges as a food source. In addition to plants, wetlands provide habitat for millions of aquatic insects. Numerous bird species, as well as amphibians and reptiles, depend on aquatic insects as food.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Mimicking Historic Disturbance

DESCRIPTION: [Square colored photograph of orange, red and yellow flames forming a line of fire in the grasses of a wetland. Grey smoke rises from the flames and masks the otherwise blue sky. The reflection of the flames and smoke can be seen in the dark waters at the grasses edge. Green marshland grasses surround the flames.]

CAPTION: Prescribed fire

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

Natural and prescribed peat fires formed many of the smaller wetlands that dot the refuge today. Prescribed burning, brush mowing, herbicide application, and grazing are tools used to maintain the grasslands and shrublands for nesting waterfowl. It also benefits resident wildlife species, such as sharp-tailed grouse, white- tailed deer, and moose. Combined, these management tools help maintain the mosaic of grasslands, shrublands, forestlands and sedge meadows needed by native wildlife species.

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MAP: Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

DESCRIPTION: Title: “Map of Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge’s Roads and Amenities.” Short description: Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge map gives you an overall view of the refuge with roads and amenities. The legend provides you with all the destinations available to visitors including headquarters, observation deck, fire tower, auto tour route, hiking trails, and bathrooms. 

Long description: The purpose of this map is to provide cognitive mapping and wayfinding. The refuge is located in northwestern Minnesota, protects 61,500 acres (96 square miles) of lands and waters, northeast of the city of Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The map consists of a large refuge map with surrounding conservation lands, a legend, and a small inset which shows the refuge lands surrounded by nearby towns. The legend provides you with all the destinations available to visitors, headquarters, observation deck, fire tower, auto tour route, hiking trails, and bathrooms. The large part of the map displays refuge boundaries in red, surrounding an irregular, triangular shape. The green and blue colors of the map represent land and waters, respectively. The refuge boundaries are surrounded by county roads that lead to nearby towns and State Wildlife Management Areas.

The map is oriented so that north is to the top. The main access points to the refuge entrance are from the west and the east on Marshall County Road 7 (290th Street). This is the main road, accessible by foot or car, located in the lower portion of the map where there is a visitor parking lot with an informational kiosk located near both the west and east boundary along County Road 7. From left to right, the main entrance road curves down and to the right, stays straight, and then peaks at a sharper angle up an towards the right. The top of where this road peaks is where the headquarters located. From the headquarters, the road angles down and to the right and then continues horizontally to the right through the remainder of the refuge. The Headquarters building is located in the lower center of the map, just below the large body of water called Agassiz Pool. Also found here is information about the refuge, restrooms, three hiking trails, an observation deck, and access to the Lost Bay Habitat Drive by car and on foot. Other points of interest include wildlife observation, hiking, and restrooms at the Parker and Farmes Pools at the lower left corner of the map.

The upper center of the map outlines a large block of land and waters that is a designated wilderness area. Approximately two-thirds of the refuge is made up of marsh habitat and a large body of open water, known as Agassiz Pool. The Thief River flows from the top left to the middle left of the map. Also, on the right side of the map is the Mud River, which flows from right to left into Agassiz Pool. A small inset in the upper right hand corner shows the refuge surrounded by the towns of Holt to its left, Grygla to its right, Middle River to its upper left.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Wildlife

IMAGE 1 of 9: Blue-winged teals

DESCRIPTION: [This rectangular photograph takes up one third of the top of the page. It features tall grass like plants reflecting on the surface of a lake. Their reflection makes up the background behind a mother duck and her 8 ducklings as they swim across the lake towards the left. Their reflection is also seen in the surface of the Lake as indistinguishable dark shadows. The lake has small ripples across the surface and plant life can be seen just breaking the surface in the background. The mother and her duckling's feathers are multiple shades of brown ranging from ivory to dark brown.]

CAPTION: A blue-winged teal hen with her brood of ducklings.

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 2 of 9: Background, Ruddy ducks

DESCRIPTION: [The full page background image is of a Ruddy duck in the lower left of the page. The remainder of the image is of the marsh and its grasses. This washed out image has shades of grey making up the shadowy background.]

CAPTION: Ruddy ducks 

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 3 of 9: Yellow-headed blackbird

DESCRIPTION: [A square colored photograph shows a solitary yellow headed blackbird perched atop a cat tail.  It's dark talons clutch the velvety top of the plant. It has a black beak, yellow feathers on its head and breast and black feathers on the rest of its body with the exception of a few white feathers tipping parts of its wings. Three other cat tails sway next to it, with slim, sausage shaped brown heads and long thin yellow stamens protruding from their tops. The background is a blurry green. ]

CAPTION: Yellow-headed blackbird

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 4 of 9: Bufflehead pair

DESCRIPTION: [A square colored photograph shows two Bufflehead ducks swimming on the calm surface of a lake. One swims staring straight ahead, the other is reared up in the water, chest up, head and neck poised as if preparing to dive. The raised duck, a male, shows the white expanse of its chest and much of its belly. Along with its chest and belly, the back and side of its head are white, the remainder of its feathers are black along with its beak. The water shows ripples around its body. The other duck, a female, has a black beak head neck and back with a small white dot of feathers on the side of its face and on its wing. It has a white chest that becomes a mottled grey along its side. You can see a blurred reflection of each duck in the surface of the water. The water surface also has what appears to be plant like reflections in the background on its green hued surface.]

CAPTION: Bufflehead pair

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 5 of 9: Northern shoveler

DESCRIPTION: [A square colored photograph shows a male Northern Shoveler who takes flight from a marsh, its belly feathers and wings still visibly wet as it rises wings spread out of the water with only its feet still covered by the water. It has a long wide black beak with a bright orange eye. Its head and neck are a very dark green with a little iridescence.  The remainder of its neck, back and wings are white. Its chest and belly are a reddish brown. Tall marsh grasses grow out of the water in the background, the strands of grass are green, changing to brown as they meet the waters surface. The blue-green water is calm and reflects the grasses and the bird as it rises out of the water.]

CAPTION: Northern shoveler

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 6 of 9: Franklin’s gull

DESCRIPTION: [A square colored photo of a Franklin's Gull and its chick shows two birds standing next to each other with the larger one closer to the camera. The camera view is of their right side with the smaller bird standing slightly forward of the larger bird so that only part of the smaller bird can be viewed. The feathers of the larger bird are black on its head, grey on its wings, and white on its neck, chest, and belly. White feathers also circle most of its eye and accent the tips of its wing feathers. The larger bird also has a red orange beak and red feet. The smaller bird, or chick, has grey feathers on its head with white feathers circling its eyes. The feathers on the body are mostly white, with grey accents on its belly chest and wings. It has a dark brown beak and feet. They are standing on marshy ground and out of focus plant life can be seen in the background.]

CAPTION: Franklin’s gull and chick. 


IMAGE 7 of 9: Bull moose

DESCRIPTION: [A colored landscape photograph of a large brown bull moose who stands with his rump facing the camera, his head turned to his left as he looks off in the distance over his left shoulder. He has large velvety antlers, dark eyes, a long snout with a slight droop to his mouth, a longish neck and a lean and muscular looking body with a dark brown coat that shines in the sunlight. He stands among tall green grasses that stand as tall as his hindquarters. The green grasses have brown seeds on the tips and appear to fade to brown in the background.]

CAPTION: Bull moose in velvet.

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 8 of 9: Gray wolf

DESCRIPTION: [A colored landscape photograph shows a wolf standing belly deep in a field of tall green grasses. The wolf stands as if moving away from the camera at an angle towards the left. It looks over its shoulder to the left, into the camera. It has a light tan colored underbelly with darker fur mixed in with the lighter fur on its back, neck and head. It has a black nose, dark eyes and ears that stand up in a point as if alert. Its fluffy fur covered tail hangs down, half hidden by the grass.]

CAPTION: Gray wolf


IMAGE 9 of 9: Bald eagle

DESCRIPTION: [A colored square photograph of a bald eagle perching in its nest atop a tall pine tree. The bird has a large yellow beak, white feathers on its head and grey brown feathers on the remainder of its body. The nest is large, made primarily of branches and twigs. The pine tree has a weathered trunk with some branches broken off. The pine needles are sparse at the top and grow in clusters at the ends of branches and close to the trunk in a few places. A blue sky with wisps of clouds can be seen in the background.]

CAPTION: Bald eagle on nest.


Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge provides a haven for many wildlife species. As many as 300 species of birds use the refuge; half of which nest on the refuge. Forty nine species of mammals, 12 species of amphibians and 9 species of reptiles also call Agassiz home.

The refuge supports 17 species of breeding ducks as well as giant Canada geese and trumpeter swans. In an average year 7,500 pairs of ducks and 250 pairs of Canada geese nest at Agassiz. The diversity of wetland and upland habitat provides excellent protection for ducklings, goslings and molting waterfowl.

Annual migrations bring peak numbers of waterfowl in May and October. Fall duck numbers can be as high as 100,000 and Canada geese 25,000. The Eastern Prairie Population of Canada geese is the most abundant goose subspecies that migrates through Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge.

Colonial nesting birds include: Franklin’s gulls, black terns, Forester’s terns, eared grebes and black-crowned night-herons. Smaller colonies of western grebes, great blue herons and double-crested cormorants also nest here.

Moose have roamed Agassiz Refuge for decades. In the early 1990s, their population began to dramatically decline. Researchers say the  decline may be a result of disease, parasites, a warming climate or some combination of all three. 

Agassiz has two resident packs of eastern gray wolves. These wolves roam the entire area during the winter months, but favor the grassland and forestland on the east and south sides during the rest of the year.

In 1992, after a 30 year absence, bald eagles began renesting on the refuge. At least 4 pairs now nest on the refuge, And one nest can be observed near the Parker Pool observation deck.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Additional Lands

IMAGE 1 of 3: Background Vegetation

DESCRIPTION: A faint, mostly transparent, photograph forms the backdrop for this page of the brochure. Tall, thin, light barked aspen trees with leaves in golden yellow and green hues stretch against a light blue sky. The image is very faded towards the bottom of the brochure. 

CAPTION: Aspen / Parkland Vegetation


IMAGE 2 of 3: Prairie 

DESCRIPTION: This rectangular landscape photograph showcases a meadow filled with many purple and yellow flowers and traces of white flowers. Yellow lazy susans, tall purple flowers, yellow coneflowers or arnicas, and white daisies stand out amongst the lush seas of green grasses and colorful blossoms. In the background, a line of green trees raise towards a light blue sky scattered with a line of wispy white cirrus clouds.

CAPTION: Prairie 


IMAGE 3 of 3: Federal Duck Stamp

DESCRIPTION: This blue and white stamp features a sketch of a male and female mallard duck descending from the air with wings flapping, getting ready to land on the water beneath them. The mottled female is poised to touch down first while the light bellied, dark faced and throated male follows behind her. Both bills are open as though quacking. The water beneath them ripples lightly suggesting constant gentle motion within these waters. The midground shows a slight curve of ground where thin, wind blown blades of grass reach towards the water against a light washed background. Floating above the ducks is text stating "Void After June 30, 1935." The central sketch is framed by a blue border with text at the top that reads "U.S. Department of Agriculture" and text at the bottom that reads "Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp." Both lower corners of the rectangular stamp feature a circle within a circle that declares "One Dollar." The crenellated stamp border is perfectly formed and the stamp itself stands out against a black background.

CAPTION: The first Federal Duck Stamp, designed by Jay “Ding” Darling in 1934 at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request.

In addition to the main Refuge, Agassiz also manages a portion of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge and a 510 acre Waterfowl Production Area (WPA). The Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge was established in the year 2000 to address the loss of America’s grasslands and the decline of grassland wildlife. This Refuge encompasses all or part of 85 counties in western Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.

The units managed by Agassiz Refuge are located in Kittson County near Karlsad, Minnesota. These tracts of land are aspen parkland habitat, which is a transitional zone between the coniferous forest, and tallgrass prairie habitat. For more information visit:

The Walton Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) was purchased in 2012 using Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp dollars. The stamp, commonly known as the “Duck Stamp” is what waterfowl hunters are required to have in their possession while hunting. This property provides nesting habitat for a variety of waterfowl, grassland birds and other wildlife. This property also helps reduce erosion, clean and protect ground water and reduce flooding.

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TEXT: Public Use Opportunities

The Walton WPA is open to hunting (in accordance with State and Federal regulations), nature observation, and photography. In regards to the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, regulations may differ from unit to unit. Please check with the manager of the national wildlife refuge that manages each unit for current opportunities.

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TEXT: General Refuge Regulations

• The refuge is open during daylight hours only (sunrise to sunset). 

• No overnight parking, camping or fires are allowed. Off-road vehicles (including snowmobiles), trail bikes, horses and dogsleds are not permitted. 

• All watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) are prohibited. 

• Launching, landing, or operating an aircraft to include unmanned aircraft (drone) is not permitted on refuge property. 

• Dogs and other pets must be kept on a leash at all times. 

• Hiking is allowed on designated trails. Please see the map. 

• Obey posted speed limits. 

• Please pack out your trash. 

• Collecting, removing, and disturbing plants, animals and / or their parts is prohibited. For example, shed antlers, berries and mushrooms. 

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IMAGES and TEXT: Signs to Know

IMAGE 1 of 5: Mostly transparent background image of fire tower

DESCRIPTION: A watermark photo with muted hues of an orange sunset covers 90% of the page with silhouetted trees and a tall overlook. The remaining 10% of the picture is a solid white background. To the left of this picture is a tall, overlook with open steel scaffolding featuring at least 8 landings for wildlife and aerial viewing of Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. At the top, there is a covered dome with gridded windows that features panoramic views all around and a brilliant streak of orange from the sunset is shown at the roof. A tall antenna is perched on top of the roof to the left. At the base of the tower, a tall, wide tree canopy filters the sunset with its leaves.

CAPTION: Background


IMAGE 2 of 5: National Wildlife Refuge Boundary icon

DESCRIPTION: A small, vertical white rectangular sign with rounded corners and blue text are posted along the refuge boundary signifying Federal public lands. The text from top to bottom says, “National Wildlife Refuge” followed by an image of a blue and white goose flying to the left. Underneath the goose image, it says, “Unauthorized Entry Prohibited” followed by “ U.S. Department of the Interior” and on the next line “Fish and Wildlife Service.”

IMAGE 3 of 5: National Wilderness Area Boundary icon

DESCRIPTION: A small, vertical white rectangular sign with rounded corners and blue text are posted along designated Wilderness boundaries. The text from top to bottom says, “National Wilderness Area Boundary” followed by a blue and white outline of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shield which features a fish and a blue duck jumping out of the water as the duck flies to the left in front of a mountain and setting sun. The rest of the text says, “Consult Manager for current regulations.”

IMAGE 4 of 5: No Hunting Zone icon

DESCRIPTION: A small, vertical rectangular sign with an orange background, black border, and black text represents areas that are closed to hunting. The text says, “No Hunting Zone” followed by a black and white outline of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shield which features a fish and a duck jumping out of the water as the duck flies to the left in front of a mountain and setting sun.

IMAGE 5 of 5: Waterfowl Production Area Boundary icon

DESCRIPTION: A small, vertical rectangular sign colored green and white represents areas that are open to hunting with lands purchased by the sale of Federal Duck Stamps. The top one-third of the sign has a solid green background with white text that says “Waterfowl Production Area.” The bottom two-thirds of the sign has a solid white background with green text that displays an image of a green and white goose flying to the left. The remainder of the text says, “Open to Hunting” followed by “Unauthorized Activities Prohibited” and “Purchased with Duck Stamp Dollars” and “U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Department of the Interior.”

National Wildlife Refuge Boundary: This sign marks the boundary of the refuge. Consult refuge management for authorized activities. 

National Wilderness Area Boundary: This sign marks the boundary of the area designated as “Wilderness”. 

No Hunting Zone : Designates an area closed to all hunting. 

Waterfowl Production Area Boundary Sign : Designates the boundary of a waterfowl production area. 

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IMAGES: Back Cover

IMAGE 1 of 3: Drake Bufflehead

DESCRIPTION: The full color photo of the small black and white duck, also known as a Bufflehead, is wrapped around from the front to the back cover, showing the tips of its black wings and its short pointed tail feathers. The ripples on the lake are varying shades of blue and green reflect shadows and light.

Text in the upper left hand corner describe contact information for Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. Below the text are two symbols. 

CAPTION: Drake Bufflehead

CREDIT: J. Maslowski / USFWS

IMAGE 2 of 3: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo

DESCRIPTION: The symbol on the left features a shield-shaped U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service icon featuring a duck with wings flapping above a white splash caused by a blue fish jumping out of the blue water against a yellow background with a golden mountain. "U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service" is printed at the top of the shield and "Department of the Interior" is printed along the semicircular edge of the bottom. 

IMAGE 3 of 3: National Wildlife Refuge System logo

DESCRIPTION: The rectangular vertical symbol on the right has a blue and white goose flying above text which reads “National Wildlife Refuge System.” Printed at the top is "Department of the Interior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service."

Related Text: 

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge 

22996 290th Street NE 

Middle River, MN 56737


T T Y users can reach Agassiz through the Federal Information Relay System at: 1 800/877 8339

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1800/334/WILD

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

The parking lot at the headquarters building is accessible and can access the building.  Two of the three trails have compacted gravel that meet ADA-accessible guidelines.  

Staff and informational kiosks at the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters building can offer more information.  TTY users can reach Agassiz through the Federal Information Relay System. For more information on the National Wildlife Refuge System, call 1-800-334-WILD or the phone number for Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge at 218-449-4115.

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OVERVIEW: More Information

ADDRESS: 22996 290th Street NE , Middle River, MN 56737  

PHONE: 218-449-4115


TTY users can reach Agassiz through the Federal Information Relay System at: 1-800-877-8339.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1-800-334-WILD

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