About the Complex

Banks Lake Sunset

Both Banks Lake and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuges have many similarities, even though they are separated by farmlands and towns. Both are blackwater systems, meaning they are not replenished by rivers or floods, and the decaying vegetation produces tannic acids that turn the waters the color of dark tea.  Such systems are less fertile because of the acidity, and do not support the large numbers of birds and wildlife that other freshwater wetlands are known for.  However, they offer an intimate experience with both the landscape and the wildlife encountered there.

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Okefenokee Complex. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central office location.  Refuges are grouped into a complex structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs.  Typically, a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex and refuge managers are responsible for operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, fire, visitor services, and maintenance professionals, are centrally located and support all refuges within the complex.

The Refuge Complex headquarters is located at:

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

2700 Suwannee Canal Dr.
Folkston, GA 31537
912-496-3332 fax