Resource Management

Roadrunner camouflaged in grass / USFWS

Refuge staff depend upon and utilize various tools to manage Optima National Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge utilizes various tools to actively manage these lands for the benefit of wildlife, including farming for wildlife and invasive species management.

Farming for Wildlife:
Optima National Wildlife Refuge provides a small amount of food crops planted just for wildlife. Rye is the primary crop planted and provides food and cover for resident wildlife.

Invasive Species Management:
Exotic and invasive species are plants and animals that come from somewhere else and can take over an area by pushing out the native species. Some exotic invasive plants found at Washita National Wildlife Refuge are saltcedar, johnsongrass, kochia, and cheatgrass. These non-native plants do not provide good habitat for our native wildlife, and the refuge works throughout the year to control these species. Non-native animals can also be found on the refuge. Domestic dogs and cats are sometimes dumped here, and they can be extremely harmful to native animals. It is illegal to release domestic animals onto any National Wildlife Refuge.