Resource Management

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The management strategy of the refuge is to encourage the development of a mosaic of bottomland hardwood forest and wetlands in the refuge’s lowlands.  On the higher elevations, management efforts are focused on a mix of post-oak/blackjack and oak/hickory forest, as well as restoring native grasslands.  The refuge uses many tools to meet these management goals. 

  • Managing the Forest

    The goal of the refuge’s forest management is to protect the existing hardwood forest, as well as restore it. 

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  • Fire Management

    Fire, nature's tool, is used to enhance wildlife habitat on the refuge while reducing the possibility of damaging wildfires.

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  • Protecting Native Species

    Exotic and invasive species will often out-compete the native plants and wildlife for critical resources. 

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  • Oil and Gas

    Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge has several active oil and gas wells scattered throughout the refuge. These are privately held mineral rights. 

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  • Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

    Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information.