The refuge was established by Executive Order in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as "a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife." The original refuge consisted of a 706.9-acre upland portion with open areas of former hay, pasture, and croplands. An office and maintenance shop complex was constructed in 1936, along with temporary facilities for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, which was located on refuge lands until the advent of World War II.
For more than 40 years, the refuge remained small, despite several attempts to purchase more than 5,000 acres of the surrounding Delta Fish and Fur Farm, Inc. In 1975, Dairyland Power Cooperative acquired the entire Delta Fish and Fur Farm. Dairyland wanted to construct a rail loop for a coal off-loading facility near their power generating plant at Alma, Wisconsin. The land they would need for constructing the loop was part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. As part of a land exchange, Dairyland divested about 120 acres of the "Delta" and sold an additional 4,778 acres to the Service in 1979. This addition, plus other recent acquisitions, has brought Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge to its present 6,446 acres.
Contact the Refuge
Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge
W28488 Refuge Road
Trempealeau, WI 54661