Resource Management


Protecting essential caves, wildlife corridors, ground-water aquifers and foraging habitat at a landscape level within the Ozarks is a management priority for the refuge.

The refuge’s management strategy is based on a landscape or ecosystem approach that provides long term protection for the Ozark’s natural resources. To accomplish this, the management priorities include:

  • Limit disturbance and habitat degradation of caves important to endangered species, including the Ozark big-eared bat. 
  • Protect habitat, including wildlife corridors, resting and roosting areas, migratory bird habitat and foraging areas. 
  • Ensure water quality through ground water recharge areas by protecting large continuous stands of Ozark forest on and surrounding the refuge. This is done through controlled burns, appropriate timber and livestock management practices, protecting and re-establishing native vegetation, and boundary marking and fencing.
  • Map caves and their recharge areas to identify their extent, openings, overlying land use and drainage patterns in order to address problems as they arise.
  • Document base-line conditions on the refuge and monitor populations of both listed and species of concern to determine if management activities are effective.