Refuge Closures and COVID-19 Information


Upcoming Refuge Closures for Management Operations

The refuge will be closed to all public entry for periods of time between January 17 and January 22, 2022 for feral hog control. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Inspection and Health Service (APHIS) will be conducting an aerial operation to control feral hogs on Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. This management action will involve a helicopter flying over the refuge with APHIS personnel targeting and shooting feral hogs. For public safety, the entire refuge will be closed to public entry intermittently, with all roads entering the refuge closed. This closure includes all access to the refuge including vehicle, foot, bicycle, and horseback. 

The refuge will be closed for periods over the six days; however, because of numerous circumstances (weather conditions, etc.), the actual closure date(s) have not yet been determined. If planning to visit Mingo National Wildlife Refuge January 17-22, 2022, please check this page for updates. You can also call the refuge office at 573-222-3589 Monday-Friday 8:30 am-4:00 pm to get an update on the timing of the closure(s).   

This refuge management operation, paired with a larger eradication plan utilizing multiple tools, will substantially decrease the feral hog population on the refuge. Feral hogs are a non-native species that can proliferate quickly and negatively impact the native plants and animals of the refuge. Feral hogs are opportunistic feeders and will forage on the eggs of ground nesting birds and will even eat reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals. They also compete with native species like deer and turkey for important food sources such as acorns. Their rooting and wallowing behavior heavily alter the native habitats of the refuge, thus impacting the refuge’s primary missions of protecting bottomland hardwood forest habitat and serving as an inviolate sanctuary for migratory waterfowl. 

 

 

Operations Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is following federal, state, and local public health authority guidance to implement a phased approach to increase public access to Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. Based on this guidance and in accordance with the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mingo National Wildlife Refuge is beginning to safely increase access. Regardless of vaccination status, face masks are mandated on federal lands in buildings and in crowded outdoor areas. Access to Mingo National Wildlife Refuge is as follows:

Open:

  • All refuge lands including trails (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset)
  • Swampwalk Nature Trail loop (Bridge at Ditch 11 is closed)
  • Roads including Ozark Highlands Auto Tour, Bluff Road, Red Mill Drive, and Flatbanks Road
  • Portable toilets in visitor center parking lot
  • Pit toilets located around the refuge

    Closed: 

    • Visitor Center and attached restrooms
    • Fee collection is currently waived for all refuge activities
    • Trash cans are unavailable – please pack out your trash and Leave No Trace

      We are excited to welcome you back but do ask that you follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. Staff are working to maintain clean, safe, and healthy facilities in accordance with federal, state and local guidance.

      Please visit this site for updates. We look forward to seeing you soon!

      CDC Guidance for Recreating in Outdoor Spaces
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

      Please call the office at 573-222-3589 between 8:30-4:00 Monday-Friday with questions.  

      Updated 11/9/21