U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pelicans, as well as ducks, geese, bald eagles, herons and various songbirds, make Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge their home.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
, an 11,400-acre protected area encompassing Lake Lowell and 101 islands along the Snake River.
The 15-year refuge management plan allows continued recreational activities on and around Lake Lowell, including fishing, hunting, boating, hiking and environmental education programs, while making improvements to wildlife habitat.
The new plan does keep seasonal closures in place to mitigate impacts of disturbances to the wildlife. Lake Lowell will remain closed to motorized boats from Oct. 1-April 14 for the sake of migrating and overwintering waterfowl. Ice fishing and hunting activities can still continue, though.
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge was founded by President Theodore Roosevelt on Feb. 25, 1909. It's one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
"When Deer Flat Refuge was established, it was an oasis for wildlife in a very dry area," stated refuge manager Annette de Knijf in a news release. "Today, it continues to be an oasis in the midst of an increasingly urban environment."
A copy of the new management plan can be viewed here