The Silvio Conte and Fish and Wildlife Refuge supports conservations actions across the entire 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed. Established in 1997, it was the first refuge with a such a remarkable landscape scale mandate. Currently the refuge has nine divisions, consisting of over 36,000 acres within parts of the four Connecticut River watershed states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
It's goals are to:
• To conserve, protect,and enhance the Connecticut River populations of Atlantic salmon, American shad, river herring, shortnose sturgeon, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey, black ducks, and other native species of plants fish and wildlife.
• To conserve, protect, ande nhance the natural diversity and abundance of plant, fish, and wildlife species, and the ecosystem upon which these species depend within the refuge.
• To protect species listedas endangered or threatened,or identified as candidates for listing, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973
• To restore and maintain the chemical, physical,and biological integrityof wetland and other waters within the refuge.
• To provide opportunities for scientific research,environmental education,and fish and wildlife-oriented recreation and access to the extent compatible with the other purposes stated in this section.
The Refuge has been a long time Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail partner, assisting with access improvement projects and strategic planning along the main stem and its tributaries.