Holiday campers beware: no fireworks or glass bottles allowed on ‘Upper Miss’ wildlife refuge

Campers may also be fined for glass bottles, which are banned on refuge beaches

LA CROSSE CO. (WKBT) — With the July 4 holiday around the corner, officials want to remind campers that fireworks are not allowed on federal wildlife refuge lands.

According to officials from the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, in addition to the litter they leave behind, the explosions and abrupt lights from fireworks are often seen as a threat by nesting birds in the region. The concern, officials say, is that birds like bald eagles or great blue herons that nest in the area may flee and end up in unexpected areas or roadways, flying into buildings and other obstacles, and even abandoning nests, leaving young vulnerable to predators. Parts of fireworks can also be choking hazards or toxic to wildlife.

If you plan on visiting and camping in lands that include the wildlife refuge area, federal officials say that fireworks are not allowed. Officers will be patrolling over the holiday. Fines for fireworks possession and use can cost $225

The refuge includes most islands and beaches on the Mississippi River from Wabasha, MN to Rock Island, IL. If you are not sure if you will be within the refuge, please contact the Winona, MN office at (507) 454-7351 or check the maps located at

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