Oil and Gas Activities Within the National Wildlife Refuge System [May 9, 2018]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The development of oil and natural gas resources in the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) has been the subject of administrative rulemaking and the focus of debate in Congress. The NWRS is a network of lands and waters administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), an agency within the Department of the Interior (DOI). The NWRS contains 566 national wildlife refuges, 36 wetland management districts composed of waterfowl production areas (WPAs), and 3 WPAs that lay outside of wetland management districts. Issues pertaining to oil and gas wells in the NWRS include private property rights, economic and energy security benefits of oil and gas development, and the potential for adverse effects of oil and gas development on NWRS lands and wildlife. Some see these activities as contrary to the mission of the NWRS as stated in the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as amended (NWRSAA; 16 U.S.C. §668dd), whereas others think that oil and gas activities can be managed so as to avoid undue harm to wildlife or that U.S. energy needs outweigh conservation concerns."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R45192
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