National Wildlife Refuge System
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Refuges Mark 75 Years

A cypress tree casts its reflection through the fall mist onto Buck Lake, part of White River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. The refuge is one of 27 celebrating their 75th anniversaries this year.
A cypress tree casts its reflection through the fall mist onto Buck Lake, part of White River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. The refuge is one of 27 celebrating their 75th anniversaries this year.
Credit: Richard Hines, USFWS

In 1935 land prices were low, the need for conservation apparent, and the nation was laboring to recover from the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. This helps explain why it was a banner year for the establishment of national wildlife refuges. Twenty-seven refuges, most of them in the country’s midsection, mark their 75th anniversaries in 2010.

Some, like White River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, celebrating with an open house on Saturday, October 16, see parallels between those times and these. In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps played a "significant role," says refuge manager Dennis W. Sharp, building roads and structures on the refuge, established for the protection of migratory birds. Today, during another economic downturn,  stimulus funds have helped repave six miles of gravel road on the refuge and repair CCC structures including a dam, a garage and a pipe storage building. 

The 160,000-acre White River Refuge covers part of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forest in North America and is one of the most important wintering areas for mallard ducks in the continent. About two-thirds of all bird species found in Arkansas use the refuge.

In honor of its 75th anniversary, White River Refuge has created a new logo, banners, lapel pins and a timeline of refuge history.

Other refuges marking their 75th anniversary this year include:

  • Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota 
  • Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois           
  • Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana     
  • Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota     
  • Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Oregon     
  • J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge         , North Dakota
  • Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota       
  • Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota 
  • Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge, Tennessee        
  • Lake Otis National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota     
  • Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota    
  • Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Montana    
  • Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, Texas    
  • Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon      
  • Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana 
  • Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota         
  • Rose Lake National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota   
  • Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota   
  • School Section Lake National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota
  • Seney National Wildlife Refuge          , Michigan       
  • Sheyenne Lake National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota        
  • Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge,          Missouri          
  • Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin
  • Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota           
  • Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska           
  • Waubay National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota

For more information about White River National Wildlife Refuge, visit
http://www.fws.gov/whiteriver or call 870-282-8200.

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