About the Complex

complex header pic

The North Louisiana Refuges Complex is composed of five national wildlife refuges and the Louisiana Wetlands Management District, located through north and western Louisiana. The five refuges are Black Bayou Lake, D’Arbonne, Handy Brake, Red River, and Upper Ouachita. The complex headquarters is located at D’Arbonne NWR, just north of West Monroe, LA. The complex has two Visitor Centers, one at Black Bayou Lake NWR north of Monroe and one at Red River NWR in Bossier City. Both Visitor Centers provide information as well as offer programs and are the most easily accessible areas for public use.

The refuges of the Complex encompass approximately 91,000 acres protecting a variety of habitat and its resident wildlife. D’Arbonne is the oldest refuge in the complex, established in 1975 to protect bottomland hardwood forests as well as providing wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl. Upper Ouachita, comprising more than half the acreage in the complex, was established in 1978 to conserve wetlands and provide habitat for waterfowl. It is also the site of the one of the largest floodplain restoration projects in the US in partnership with the Nature Conservancy. Handy Brake was established in 1990 and is the smallest refuge in the complex; currently it is inaccessible to the public. Black Bayou Lake was established in 1997 and is centered around a 1600 acre lake providing habitat for assorted wildlife and a variety of recreational opportunities. Red River was established in 2002, consisting of 4 units along the Red River Valley from Bossier City to south of Natchitoches. It is also the location of the other Visitor Center for the complex.

The Complex also manages the Louisiana Wetlands Management District established in 1990 and consists of 10,000 acres that include fee-title and conservation easements. These areas are spread over 20 parishes in north Louisiana.

For more information about the complex you can contact Complex Headquarters or either Visitor Center.

The Refuge Complex headquarters is located at:

D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge
11372 Highway 143

Farmerville, LA 71241
Phone: (318) 726-4222
Fax: (318) 726-4667

Web: http://www.fws.gov/northlouisiana 

In the Shreveport/Bossier City area :
Red River NWR Visitor Center :

150 Eagle Bend Point
Bossier City, LA 71112
Phone: (318) 742-1219
Fax: (318) 742-1259
Web: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/red_river
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RedRiverNWR

The Visitor Center for Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
is located at:

480 Richland Place
Monroe, LA 71203


The Visitor Center and Learning Center are located less than a mile from Highway 165. Turn onto Richland Place and keep right when road splits. If using a mobile device, please make sure that the directions do not take you to the east side of the refuge. Call the Visitor Center if you need further assistance.