Nature Tourism:The refuge offers excellent opportunities to see and enjoy wildlife. Visitors from across the United States and several foreign countries come here in search of the Attwater’s prairie-chicken and other grassland species. Others simply enjoy the nature trails and scenic views. Many of these visitors stop in nearby communities to fill their tanks with gasoline or eat a good meal and some stay in nearby hotels. The refuge promotes surrounding communities and encourages visitors to enjoy the many services and opportunities offered nearby.Home Values:A national study conducted in 2012 shows that owning a home near a national wildlife refuge increases home values and helps support the surrounding community’s tax base. According to the study, homes located within half a mile of a refuge and within eight miles of an urban center were found to have higher home values. This report is the first national study to analyze national wildlife refuges’ impact on land values.Helpful InformationNational Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (2011) Home Values of Proximity to National Wildlife Refuges (2012)
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More than a century ago, up to one million Attwater’s prairie-chickens graced the coastal prairies of Texas and Louisiana. Each spring, males gathered to perform an elaborate courtship ritual. They inflated their yellow air sacs and emitted a strange, booming sound across a sea of grasses.