OURAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Ouray National Wildlife Refuge NWR is located in the desert of northeastern Utah and receives less than 7 inches of precipitation annually. The Green River brings water down from the mountains of Wyoming and through the Refuge, attracting thousands of waterfowl and other birds. The Refuge includes 16 miles of the Green River, totaling 11,987 acres. Three thousand, eight-hundred acres of the Refuge is leased from the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation and the State of Utah.
The Refuge includes approximately 19 square miles of bottomlands and river surface in six naturally occurring bottoms along the shallow Green River. The Refuge is considered by some as the most significant stand of riparian cottonwoods on the entire Green River and perhaps the entire Colorado River Drainage. Bluffs border the river valley and semi-desert shrubland and grasslands make up the rest of the Refuge.
The Refuge provides food and nesting cover for 14 species of ducks and Canada geese as well as a resting area and food for many additional species of migrating waterbirds. Approximately 200 species of birds use Ouray NWR, along with a variety of mammals and fish such as elk, mule deer, river otters, prairie dogs. Eight imperiled species including whooping cranes and several endangered fish such as the bonytail and humpback chubs, and razorback suckers also live on the Refuge. The Uinta Basin hookless cactus is a federally threatened species that inhabits the Refuge habitat.