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The Mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
Sullys Hill National Game Preserve is located in Benson County on the south shore of Devils Lake near the town of Devils Lake. Consisting of 1,674 acres of wooded hills and open meadows, it is one of four refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for American bison and elk.
Sullys Hill enjoys a rich natural and cultural history. Archaeologists have found evidence that suggests Sullys Hill was an important hunting and camping area for indigenous Indian tribes. The largest hill in the preserve was named for General Alfred Sully, leader of the expedition into the region in 1867. President Theodore Roosevelt set aside Sullys Hill as a National Park in 1904, and in 1917 and 1918, bison, elk, and deer were reintroduced to Sullys Hill, establishing the big game herds. Sullys Hill was transferred from the National Park Service to the National Wildlife Refuge System in 1931.
Wooded, glacial moraine hills and native grasslands are a picturesque home for bison, elk, white-tailed deer, prairie dogs, turkeys, waterfowl, and other native wildlife. Visitors are welcome to use the nature trail, visitor center, and classrooms year-round. The auto tour route is open from 8 a.m. until posted times May through October. Visitors can enjoy two cross country ski trails when snow is present.
- Tom Ibsen
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