In The Community


National Wildlife Refuges are good for communities.

Laguna Atasocosa is seeking public comment on proposals to the Enviromental Assesment (EA), Compatability Determination, and Hunt Plan proposals.

Date: March 31, 2020


Laguna Atascosa NWR 22817 Ocelot Road Los Fresnos, TX 78566 956-748-3607 
March 31, 2020, 956-245-7823, 956-443-8169  

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Seeks Public Input on Proposed Hunting

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (refuge) is proposing to allow hunting in the Bahia Grande Unit, the Laguna Atascosa Unit, and the La Selva Verde Tract. In total, approximately 25,000 new acres will be opened for hunting. The refuge proposes to open these new areas to nilgai antelope, feral hog, and other exotic ungulate species that may occur at individual tracts. In addition, the refuge is proposing an American alligator hunt on the Laguna Atascosa Unit.

The refuge is encouraging members of the public to get involved in the hunting program for Laguna Atascosa NWR. The refuge seeks public input and comment on its Draft Hunt Plan (HP), Compatibility Determination (CD) and Environmental Assessment (EA), available now for public review. 

These plans are designed to address hunting on the refuge. The plans can be downloaded at:  

Hunt Plan

Environmental Assessment

Compatibility Determination 

The public is encouraged to provide input by writing to:
Refuge Manager,
Laguna Atascosa NWR, 22817 Ocelot Road, Los Fresnos, Texas 78566; or may e-mail 

*Please put “Public Input - Hunting” in the subject line of the email.


Comments will be accepted beginning April 1, 2020 until April 30, 2020.

Press Release
 Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge will reopen the Wildlife Drive with public use limited to hiking and biking only, effective November 11, 2019. This decision has been made after delays in construction of Wildlife Drive that may be in effect for 1 - 2 years. These delays will affect public vehicular use and limit vehicle use of Wildlife Drive to refuge vehicles only. Bird and Tram tours will continue to be available, more information regarding tours and programs can be found on Visitor Activities.

Click here for more information regarding Wildlife Drive.


 Nature Tourists: 
According to a study conducted by Texas A & M University, nature tourists inject up to $300 million dollars into the local economy of the lower Rio Grande Valley and the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is one of main reasons wildlife watchers travel to this region. In addition to providing habitat for an amazing array of species, the refuge supports the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, and the Spring Chirp Birdfest.  The annual public hunt also brings several hundred hunters from across the state and country to the lower Rio Grande Valley.

Home Values: 
A national study conducted in 2012 shows that owning a home near a national wildlife refuge increases home values and helps support the surrounding community’s tax base. According to the study, homes located within half a mile of a refuge and within eight miles of an urban center were found to have higher home values. This report is the first national study to analyze national wildlife refuges’ impact on land values.

Helpful Links: 
An Initial Examination of the Economic Impact of Nature Tourism in the Rio Grande Valley  
National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation  
Home Values of Proximity to National Wildlife Refuges