Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Located southwest of Florence, Alabama, Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge protects the only known population of the endangered Alabama cavefish.
Public Information Bulletin

US Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Develop a Habitat Management Plan for Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Public Scoping Comments Due February 19, 2023

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public input in the development of a Habitat Management Plan (HMP) and accompanying Environmental Assessment (EA) for the 1,060-acre Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge (NWR ) in Lauderdale County, Alabama.  Key Cave NWR is managed as part of the Wheeler NWR Complex.  This HMP will step-down from the 2007 Wheeler NWR Complex Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) / EA / Finding of No Significant Impact and previous coordination with the state, Native American Tribes, other governmental agencies, area land managers, area landowners, local community, and general public.  An HMP is a dynamic planning document stepped-down from the CCP that provides refuge managers guidance for habitat management activities, including goals, objectives, and strategies to achieve outlined desired future habitat conditions and to maintain the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of the refuge.   Through the development of this HMP, we seek to improve management for the refuge.  We anticipate having documents available for review and comment in the summer of 2023.

At this early stage in the development of the HMP, we are seeking public scoping comments to help guide development of the HMP.  To ensure consideration in the development of the HMP, comments and concerns must be submitted in writing and received by the Service by February 19, 2023.

How to Submit Comments?

  • By mail to:  Key Cave NWR HMP, 2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603
  • By email to:

Across the Southeast and across the country for the enduring benefit of the American people, national wildlife refuges work closely with states, Native American Tribes, other governmental agencies, land managers, farmers and ranchers, landowners, local communities, and the general public to manage refuges and natural resources.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.

Visit Us

Key Cave itself is managed for protection; therefore, it is not open to the public due to the potential for disturbance of the federally endangered Alabama cavefish and gray bats. However, other areas of the refuge are open to visitor activities. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Key Cave lies on the northern shore of Pickwick Lake in a limestone karst area that contains numerous sinkholes and several underground cave systems. The area’s sinkholes are an integral component of groundwater recharge for the cave.

      What We Do

      The Refuge consists of rolling grassland, upland hardwoods, and crop land. Past farming practices have led to severe soil erosion problems. Initial management efforts were focused on controlling erosion, thus enhancing the water quality entering the underground cave system to benefit the endangered species inhabiting Key Cave.

      Our Species

      Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge protects more than one endangered species, including the Alabama cavefish and the Gray bat. These two species have a unique story where the presence of one benefits the other.  

      Our Library

      Visit our digital library to view refuge documents.