About the Refuge


Working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge was authorized by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929 (16 U.S.C. 715d) for “... use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.” The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 established additional refuge purposes to be “... for the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources (16 U.S.C. 742f (a)(4)) and “... for the benefit of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in performing its activities and services. Such acceptance may be subject to the terms of any restrictive or affirmative covenant, or condition or servitude ...” (16 U.S.C. 742 (b)(1)). Later, the Refuge Recreation Act of 1962 (16 U.S.C. 460(k)(1)) declared the refuge to be “ suitable for (1) incidental fish and wildlife-oriented recreational development, (2) the protection of natural resources, and (3) the conservation of endangered species or threatened species ....”

Lower Hatchie Refuge is located at the confluence of the Hatchie and Mississippi Rivers in Lauderdale and Tipton Counties in west Tennessee. The refuge encompasses the lower reaches of the Hatchie River and consists of bottomland hardwoods, moist-soil units, agricultural fields, and associated uplands. The large forested tracts, open lands, and aquatic features found on the refuge provide an important ecological niche for fish, wildlife, and plant species. The topography of bottomlands is characteristically flat, but slight variations in elevation are associated with considerable differences in soils, drainage conditions, and forest species composition (Barrett 1980).