35704 County Highway 26
Rochert, MN 56578
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge covers 42,724 acres and lies in the glacial lake country of northwestern Minnesota in Becker County, 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes. It was established in 1938 as a refuge breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Refuge topography consists of rolling forested hills interspersed with lakes, rivers, marshes, and shrub swamps. Vegetation is diverse due to the refuge's location in the transition zone between northern hardwood and coniferous forests. Historically, the tallgrass prairie extended into the refuge. Refuge wildlife consists of over 258 species of birds and 50 species of mammals. Bald eagles are common with up to 23 pairs producing as many as 33 young in recent years. Moose and timber wolves are seen occasionally. The northern half of Tamarac lies within the original White Earth Chippewa Indian Reservation Boundary.Between 1890 and 1930, the refuges original stands of red and white pine were logged. Settlers followed, but farming never achieved much prominence due to the thick forest, marginal soils and numerous wetlands. Early refuge development was achieved by a Conservation Corps camp in the 1930s and further enhanced in the 1960s by a Job Corps Center. The Tamarac Wetland Management District is also managed out of this office. Service staff oversee nine conservation easements, totaling 2,880 acres, in Clearwater and Cass counties. Staff assist private landowners with managing their properties to benefit migrating and nesting waterfowl. Technical assistance for wildlife projects is also provided to interested landowners.
Map + Directions
The refuge office/visitor center is located 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes, MN, at the junction of County Roads 26 & 29. Leaving Detroit Lakes on Hwy 34 East, go 9 miles to intersection of County Road 29, turn left going north on 29, and go approximately 9 miles (paved and gravel roads). Leaving Detroit Lakes on County Road 31, go north approximately 9 miles to intersection of County Road 26, turn right, going east on 26 approximately 9 miles (paved/gravel road).