Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located in the central portions of the U.S. state of Montana. It lies in northern Cascade County, just north of the city of Great Falls. It is part of the larger Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge. The gently rolling terrain of Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is dominated by native shortgrass prairie and seasonal wetlands, and surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides: the Highwood Mountains to the east, the Big Belt Mountains to the south, and the Rocky Mountains to the west.
These ranges form a dramatic backdrop to a scene reminiscent of the days when the entire prairie-wetland ecosystem of the Great Plains was alive with thousands of ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds each spring and fall. Benton Lake NWR is one of more than 550 national wildlife Refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that were established to protect, enhance, and restore the Nation's wildlife heritage. Covering 12,383 acres (50 km2), the Refuge is located on the western edge of the northern Great Plains, 50 miles (80 km) east of the Rocky Mountains and 12 miles (19 km) north of Great Falls, Montana. Despite its name, Benton Lake is actually a 5,000-acre (20 km2) shallow wetland created by the last continental glacier thousands of years ago.
1 photo, 1 video