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About the Refuge

Bobcat watching / USFWS

Located in the middle of the Oklahoma panhandle, the 4,333-acre Optima National Wildlife Refuge is made up of grasslands and wooded bottomland on the Coldwater Creek arm of the Army Corps of Engineers Optima Reservoir Project. 


The panhandle area of Oklahoma is often referred to as "No Man's Land" because it was the last wild west frontier, making it a favorite location for outlaws. Homesteaders began settling in the panhandle in the mid-1880s and called the area Cimarron Territory. Today, these lands are managed for the benefit of wildlife and provide wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife watching and photography and public hunting.

Optima is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters managed for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.
Page Photo Credits — Bobcat watching / USFWS
Last Updated: Sep 03, 2013
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