Billings, Little Big Horn, and the Montana Plains Sights

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Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge

Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Review

Bordering the shores of Fort Peck Lake—and extending west more than 100 mi to U.S. 191—is the massive Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, a 1.1-million-acre preserve teeming with more than 200 species of birds, including bald eagles and game birds; 45 different mammals, including elk, bighorn sheep, antelope, prairie dogs, and deer; and a variety of fish and reptiles. But this is also a refuge for history: each year scientists from around the country march into the preserve, and each year they find something new, whether it's dinosaur bones, buffalo jumps, tepee rings, or an old homesteader's shack. The refuge, one of the largest under the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's management, is open for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, boating, and other activities. Several access roads run through the area; most of these are unpaved, aside from U.S. 191, which runs north–south through the western edge of the refuge.

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