Optima National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 under the authority of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, by agreement between the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While the original purpose of the 4,333-acre refuge was for wintering and resting habitat for migratory waterfowl of the Central Flyway, the refuge provides little habitat for migratory waterfowl due to lower than anticipated water impoundment rates in the Optima Reservoir. The refuge is currently managed for resident wildlife and migratory birds. The lack of water has reduced the potential for waterfowl management. The refuge provides an island of largely undisturbed habitat for migratory songbirds and resident species including white-tailed deer, coyote, Rio Grande turkey, and scaled quail.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network 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.
Everywas created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. Refuges are special places where wildlife comes first. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.
The purpose of Optima National Wildlife Refuge is to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.
1966- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began constructing the dam at Optima Lake.
1975 - Optima National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 under the authority of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.
1978 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impounded Optima Lake.
Other Facilities in this Complex
Optima National Wildlife Refuge is unstaffed and managed through Washita National Wildlife Refuge office.