Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1966 as a refuge to provide feeding and resting areas for migratory birds. The refuge includes 7,724 acres near Seymour, Indiana and the Restle Unit, a 78-acre donated parcel near Bloomington, Indiana. This south-central Indiana refuge is a flat to gently rolling mix of bottomland and upland forest, wetland, brushland and grassland habitat. The refuge has been designated as a Continentally Important Bird Area and was a hunting and fishing area for many Native American tribes before European settlement.
The refuge mission is to restore, preserve and manage a mix of forest, wetland and grassland habitat for fish, wildlife and people.
The original purpose of Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge was to serve as an inviolate sanctuary for migratory birds. The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Act uses money from Duck Stamp sales to purchase refuge lands. Many lands purchased with Duck Stamp funds, including Muscatatuck, were defined as inviolate sanctuaries. These lands, under most circumstances, must be at least partially closed to migratory bird hunting to allow birds a place of refuge and protection. Only a small portion of the refuge is open to waterfowl hunting.
All activities allowed on refuges are evaluated on a regular basis to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.
June 7, 1966 - The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission authorized the purchase of land for Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge with Federal Duck Stamp money
1976 - The visitor center was built
1988 - The visitor center was renamed Charles E. Scheffe Visitor Center after the first refuge manager
2004 - A new addition to the visitor center that included an auditorium was dedicated
2016 - The refuge celebrated it’s 50th anniversary
Other Facilities in this Complex
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge is complexed under Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, although both refuges are managed independently. Muscatatuck manages the Restle Unit, a 78-acre parcel near Bloomington, Indiana that was donated to the refuge. At the Restle Unit, public use is limited to an observation deck located along Bottom Road.