Our Mission: Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge was established on June 14, 1940 with the purpose of being a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is meant to conserve, manage, and restore the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations. Other purposes are:
- Development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources
- For the benefit of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in performing its activities and services. Such acceptance may be subject to the terms of any restrictive or affirmative covenant, or condition of servitude
- A small amount of land purchased with Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp monies with the intent to use as a sanctuary, or any other management purpose, for migratory birds.
Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in three counties (Noxubee, Oktibbeha, and Winston) and was created from lands obtained through the 1930s Resettlement Administration.
Before Government ownership, the land area within the refuge was intensively farmed and over-grazed. After years of proper land stewardship, the refuge is now an excellent example of forest and wildlife management.
This change has caused a return of bountiful wildlife populations and a progression toward restoration of the pine and hardwood forest types that were devastated in the early 1900s. The refuge provides needed habitat protection for the extremely valuable, rapidly disappearing bottomland hardwood forest communities.
The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker relies on the refuge for its existence in east-central Mississippi. This population of woodpeckers is one of only four sites the species can be seen in the state. In addition, many neotropical migratory bird species greatly benefit from the variety of habitats the refuge provides. Four green-tree reservoirs (GTRs), two major lakes (Bluff Lake – 900 acres and Loakfoma Lake – 400 acres), 16 small impoundments, and assorted wetland areas provide important habitat for the wood stork, American alligator, bald eagle, and wintering waterfowl.
Over 150,000 visitors annually participate in activities including fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife photography, wildlife observation, environmental education, and research. The refuge serves as an outdoor classroom for Mississippi State University and other local educational institutions. The National Audubon Society has designated Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge as an Important Bird Area (IBA), one of five of global importance in Mississippi.