Our Mission: Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge was established on September 5, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the purpose to protect and conserve migratory birds and other wildlife resources.
Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 for the protection of migratory birds. It is one of the most important areas for wintering waterfowl in North America. The refuge is also home to the only population of native black bear in the State of Arkansas and is designated as a Wetland of International Importance. Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge annually attracts about 455,000 visits from hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others. The refuge lies mostly in the floodplain of the White River, near where it meets the mighty Mississippi River. Long and narrow and varying from a quarter mile to ten miles wide and approximately sixty miles long, the refuge is one of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi River Valley. Its fertile forests and some three hundred lakes are interlaced with streams, sloughs, and bayous. The result is a haven for a myriad of native wildlife and migratory birds.
At an event on April 18, 2014, the refuge was renamed to Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge in honor of the former Arkansas governor and four-term U.S. Senator, Dale Bumpers. “The Service is proud to recognize the many contributions Senator Bumpers has made to give many future generations the same opportunity to enjoy Arkansas’ natural beauty as we have had,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said. “He is a giant among conservationists and a visionary who followed an unconventional path to set aside some of Arkansas’ last wild places. It is fitting that he will be forever linked with the White River.”
Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 550 national wildlife refuges in the United States. Managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior, the National Wildlife Refuge System encompasses over ninety-five million acres of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.