Places We Protect

Pigeon Point Preserve

North Dakota

Grassy fields with yellow wildflowers in the foreground.
Pigeon Point Preserve Wildflowers at TNC in North Dakota's Pigeon Point Preserve © Richard Hamilton Smith

At least fifteen rare plants are harbored in fen and wetland thicket habitats.



Why You Should Visit

Pigeon Point's high diversity of wetland habitats and plant life is noteworthy. At least 15 rare plants are harbored in fen and wetland thicket habitats. The preserve also has one of the best developed, spring-fed streams in the Sheyenne River Valley.

The south end of the preserve consists of upland sandhill habitat much of which was formerly farmed. TNC is currently restoring native tallgrass prairie to these old farm fields. The less disturbed northern end consists of slopes and floodplains of the Sheyenne River covered by riparian and wetland forests. Unusual groundwater-fed wetlands, called fens, are scattered in this area, along the slopes dropping off to the river floodplain.


Pigeon Point is located in a straight line eight miles southeast of Sheldon, North Dakota; or 14 miles east-northeast of Lisbon, North Dakota. It is situated in the northwest portion of the Sheyenne Delta landscape along the south bank of the Sheyenne River.

Plan Your Visit

For more information on visiting this and other North Dakota preserves, check out our Preserve Visitation Guidelines.


TNC's ownership at the Pigeon Point consists of 571 acres. It is part of the larger Sheyenne Delta landscape, nearly 236,000 acres, in a mix of private and public ownership.

Why TNC Selected This Site

The high quality fen and shrub meadow communities and their associated rare plants are what initially attracted TNC to Pigeon Point. TNC purchased 861 acres in 1994.

What the TNC Has Done/Is Doing

In the late 1990's, 289 acres of excess cropland were sold, bringing the current preserve size to 572 acres. Since 1994 stewardship activities have included controlling the invasive leafy spurge, and conducting prescribed burns to reinvigorate the remnant prairie patches and woodland communities. The most ambitious undertaking has been the restoration of native prairie on a 200-acre farm field. Native seed restoration began in 2000 and Pigeon Point is already showing positive signs of recovery.




571 acres

Explore our work in North Dakota

Canoeing the Sheyenne River, photography, bird watching, and mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding on the North Country National Scenic Trail are some of the activities in which to participate in the area.

What to See: Plants

Although part of the Sheyenne Delta landscape, an area dominated by sand prairies, the Pigeon Point preserve features the wetter end of the moisture gradient. Fens, shrub meadows, wet prairies, wet meadows, and lowland hardwood forests all are important parts of the vegetation at this preserve.

Among the rare plants found in these wetter habitats are marsh bellflower, spring cress, bog bedstraw, buck bean, Virginia mountain mint, bog willow, delicate sedge, brook flat sedge, marsh horsetail, and slender cotton sedge.

What to See: Animals

Activities by beavers are most noticeable at the preserve. Beaver dams have impacted water levels in many of the wetlands and fens on the preserve, and their feeding activity has also changed the nature of some of the plant communities, for example removal of trees and shrubs. These changes in turn influence the types of birds and other animals that inhabit these communities. The birds at Pigeon Point are as varied as the habitat. On the upland prairie you might see western medowlarks, upland sandpipers, marbled godwits, savannah sparrows, clay-colored sparrows, grasshopper sparrows, Baird's sparrows and the occasional yellow rail. In the upland thickets, you may see a black-billed cuckoo, brown thrasher, catbird, lark sparrow, tree sparrow, wild turkeys and downy and hairy woodpeckers. In the prairie wetlands (during migration) you will see countless species of ducks. And in the Riverine forest and wetlands you may see a rose-breasted grosbeak, scarlet tanager, redstart, indigo bunting, oven bird, veery, or a pileated woodpecker.

There are no facilities at Pigeon Point. Bring water and all other supplies you might need. Nearest supplies are 18 miles away in Lisbon or 11 miles in Enderlin. Ticks and mosquitoes can be a problem at times and poison ivy is present.

Hunting and Fishing Activities

Check out our Preserve Visitation Guidelines for more information TNC's hunting and fishing policies on North Dakota preserves. Download the 2021 hunting permit for Pigeon Point Preserve, which includes rules and a map specific to Pigeon Point.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map

Photos from Pigeon Point

The prairie is buzzing and blooming with life!

prairie pothole.
wild bergamot.
monarch butterfly.
mixed deciduous forest.

Support Our Work at Pigeon Point Preserve

You can help us protect North Dakota's diverse plant and animal communities. Make a donation now to help us further our work to protect land and water, provide food and water sustainably, and tackle climate change.