Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado.

Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge, located within a 4000 acre natural depression known as the Big Basin, is one of over 560 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System - a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. It is situated 6 miles northwest of Laramie, Wyoming in the Laramie plain; a high elevation, dry grassland surrounded by mountains. The shallow depressions of the basin, within the relatively flat topography of the region, support wetland complexes, including marsh and lakes, that are unique to the semiarid area. This Refuge is comprised of three separate sections arranged in an L-shaped pattern within one-half mile of each other. It is located in a closed basin hydrologic system that contains Bamforth Lake, although most of the lake falls outside the Refuge boundary. Due to the fragmented locations of the parcels, the closed basin hydrology, and the Refuge's minimal water rights; this refuge has not ever been aggressively managed. The Refuge is administered out of Arapaho NWR in Walden, CO. It has no public access. For information, contact the Arapaho NWR staff.


Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge includes 1,166 acres and was established in 1932 for the purpose of providing resting and breeding habitat for migratory birds and other native wildlife. The Refuge is not posted, fenced, or signed to indicate its status as a national wildlife refuge because it consists of three separated sections, each surrounded by non-federal lands. Access to these areas is limited and Bamforth NWR is not open for public use at this time to avoid possible trespass issues.

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