The National Wildlife Refuge System is committed to building partnerships which encourage conservation and preservation of our natural and cultural resources.

Partnerships with the Refuge System bring innovative approaches to solving land management and water disputes in the most environmentally protective manner.  Scientifically-informed and technologically-based stewardship of our public lands, waters, wildlife and special places must be collaborative efforts between the Refuge System, other government agencies, and private organizations if conservation efforts are to succeed.

Some partnership efforts of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service include:  

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge AssociationThe WWRA is an independent, non–profit organization dedicated to:

  • Promoting the conservation of natural resources on the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex 
  • Fostering public understanding and appreciation of the Refuge 
  • Engaging in activities that support the mission of the Refuge 

The refuge partners with the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association on many important projects that benefit wildlife, the visiting public and surrounding communities. The non-profit organization plays an important role in education and outreach, and habitat management and restoration efforts of the refuge.
Friends of the Refuge

Partners for Fish and Wildlife: Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) is a program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that has been restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat on private lands. It provides cost-sharing and technical assistance to non-federal landowners, including private landowners, local governments, native American tribes, educational institutions, and other entities. The program generally involves wetland, grassland and/or riparian restoration efforts.

Huntsville Grotto of the National Speleological Society: The Huntsville Grotto is an official club of the National Speleological Society, an organization dedicated to the study, protection, and exploration of caves. We are a group of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, but who all agree on one thing: we love caves and caving! The grotto's official mission is to provide interest in and to advance in any way the study and science of speleology, to encourage safe cave exploring techniques, to help conserve cave fauna and natural formations, and to promote fellowship among those interested in caves and caving. 

The Huntsville Grotto motto is:"Take Nothing But Pictures, Leave Nothing But Footprints, Kill Nothing But Time"


Tennessee Valley Authority: Our long-term partnership with TVA is an important one. The refuge was established in 1938 as an overlay refuge on lands owned by TVA and continues to be operated under a cooperative agreement with TVA. In 1959, TVA transferred 8,323 acres in fee-title to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We continue to partner with TVA in operation of pumping stations in our dewatering units and other resource management activities.