FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2000
Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (404) 679-7291
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the expansion of the acquisition boundaries of the Chickasaw and Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuges in western Tennessee by up to 43,532 acres. The Service is now authorized to purchase property or conservation easements from willing sellers at fair market value, and can accept donations within the expanded acquisition boundaries of the two refuges.
"Expanding these two refuges will give a strong boost to our efforts to
"This demonstrates that the Service is making every effort to do its part to help conservation interests in Tennessee meet the important habitat needs of all migratory birds," said Gary T. Myers, Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. AWe are extremely pleased with their leadership and commitment to migratory bird programs not only in Tennessee but throughout the nation.@
"This represents the kind of partnership that benefits the community and the Lower Hatchie and Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuges at the same time," said U.S. Rep. John Tanner. "The partnership between local citizens and the refuges is emblematic of a commitment to the responsible stewardship of our fish and wildlife resources in which we can be proud."
The Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge is located in Ripley, about two hours drive northeast of Memphis. The refuge currently encompasses some 22,000 acres of mostly bottomland hardwood forest in the floodplain of the Mississippi River that is prime habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, and bald eagles. Each year, some 130,000 people take advantage of the refuge's recreational and educational opportunities for the public, such as hunting, fishing, birdwatching, and nature photography. The proposed 31,480-acre expansion to the refuge would add additional habitat along the Mississippi River, and complement and improve the refuge's efforts to provide habitat
Located along the Hatchie and Mississippi Rivers, the Lower Hatchie
The two refuges provide a haven for several federally listed species
For more information about these refuges, visit: http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://publications.southeast.fws.gov//pubref.html.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286