Wildlife and Habitat Management
Hillside National Wildlife Refuge is a dynamic diversity of habitats. Originally purchased by the Corps of Engineers to capture sediment from the Yazoo Basin Headwater area, Hillside National Wildlife Refuge continues to evolve. Elevations rise from less than 100 feet mean sea level on the south end of the refuge to about 135 feet on the north end where Black Creek forms an alluvial fan as it flows from the hills into the broad Delta. The eastern boundary of the refuge rises abruptly to 300 feet and includes a small portion of the loess bluffs.
Hillside’s dominant habitats are hardwood forest bottomlands with oaks and cottonwood trees in the higher elevations, and willow, bald cypress and tupelo sloughs or "brakes" in lower elevations. The refuge includes streams and early successional reforested areas.
Before Service ownership, approximately 3,573 acres of land were cleared for crop production. More than half of this land has been reforested and future plans call for a further reduction of cropland to a level adequate to meet waterfowl management objectives. Twelve moist-soil units comprising approximately 650 acres provide foraging and wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl and waterbirds.