Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge has a New Parking Area
Midwest Region, October 30, 2007
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The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge has a new parking area at the Loesing upland parcel of the Overton Bottoms North Unit of the Refuge.  This parking area allows public access near the center of the 2,549 acre unit of the refuge. 


The parking area is located at the end of Brady Lane a county road off state highway 98 in Cooper County, Missouri.  The area is just 6 miles east of Boonville, Missouri and 15 miles west of Columbia, Missouri.  The new parking area is only about a mile from Interstate 70 access, and has parking spaces for six vehicles.  A standard information kiosk was also installed with a map and regulations for the unit.    


The parking area was constructed in October by Randy Smith, an equipment operator on loan from Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge.  Randy brought a dozer down to complete the work.  Randy Stenberg, from the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife refuge assisted in the construction. 


The Loesing parcel was named after the previous owners of the unit and is the anticipated location for the refuge visitor center.  The parcel was purchased several years ago but was isolated from the rest of the Overton Bottoms Unit until a new acquisition of over 480 acres in July of 2007 connected it to the rest of the unit.  The parking area is now called the Loesing parking area of the Overton Bottoms North Unit, and the parcel reference will be removed.


With recent acquisitions the refuge totals just over 11,000 acres in eight separated units along the Missouri river as it flows primarily west to east through the state of Missouri.  The refuge is approved by congress to acquire 60,000 acres so it has a lot of room to grow.     


Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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