"Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1953 and contains 10,000 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood forest, and grasslands. It was authorized by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act “...for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.” Additional purposes designated under the Refuge Recreation Act are “…incidental fish and wildlife-oriented recreational development, the protection of natural resources, and the conservation of endangered and threatened species.”
The refuge’s mission is to preserve and manage an undeveloped expanse of floodplain forest, marshes, rivers, and associated habitat within an agricultural and urban landscape through habitat management, encouraging public stewardship, educational programs, and private land activities .
Shiawassee Refuge is designated as a United States Important Bird Area for its global significance to migratory waterfowl." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
"The SRSGA was dedicated as a game area on May 9, 1951 with the acquisition of the 1,574 acre Sheldon tract in a Memorandum to the Michigan Conservation Commission(Appendix 1). Justifications for the purchase were given as flood storage under the Saginaw Valley Flood Control Plan (with the game area falling into the Shiawassee FlatsCritical Flood Storage Area, DEQ1), exceptionally good wildlife habitat, and suitability for wildlife restoration and public use. The Michigan Department of Conservation (renamed Department of Natural Resources, DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)signed a cooperative agreement on July 19, 1955 for the Shiawassee Flats Wildlife Management Area that outlined acquisition of land, public hunting, joint cooperation onplanning, development, operation of the project area, and flood control. Because the Shiawassee Flats is a historically important waterfowl concentration area,the primary objective stated when the area was established was to provide a major refuge for waterfowl in the northern Mississippi Flyway and expand waterfowl huntingopportunities. The cooperative agreement stated that there would be "major efforts directed to waterfowl" and that "various other small game and deer must necessarilyplay a lesser role" but could "be encouraged on the upland periphery". Prior to its signing, the Conservation Commission approved this cooperative agreement October,23, 1953.Currently, 9,758 acres are under State ownership at the Shiawassee River State Game Area. Pittman-Robertson funds (PR) were used to purchase at least half of the acreageon the area. Other funds have included State Game Fund, a combination of Recreational Bond/PR, Michigan Land Trust Fund, special legislation or multiple funding sources.Because major portions of the game area were purchased for the purpose of wildlife restoration and management (i.e., with PR funds), restoration and management of wild birds and mammals, and provision for public use of wildlife resources are the primary management goals. Multiple use of the area is encouraged, provided it does not interfere with this primary purpose of wildlife management and habitat restoration. The USFWS is the agency responsible for the oversight of the PR Program" - Shiawassee River State Game Area Strategic Plan (2003–2013)