National Wildlife Refuge
|26320 Hwy 33 South
Augusta, AR 72006
Phone Number: 870-347-2614
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Cache River Refuge contains a variety of wetland communities including some of the most intact and least disturbed bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi Valley region|
Cache River National Wildlife Refuge
Cache River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1986 to protect significant wetland habitats and provide feeding and resting areas for migrating waterfowl.
As one of the few remaining areas in the Lower Mississippi River Valley not drastically altered by channelization and drainage, the Cache River basin contains a variety of wetland communities including some of the most intact and least disturbed bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi Valley region. These unique and valuable wetlands have been protected by the RAMSAR Convention as "Wetlands of International Importance".
At present the refuge currently encompasses over 56,000 acres located in numerous non-contiguous tracts in Jackson, Woodruff, Monroe and Prairie counties in east central Arkansas. The boundary of this refuge changes frequently as land acquisition continues along the Cache River, White River and Bayou Deview.
Getting There . . .
Cache River NWR Headquarters is located 16 miles south of Augusta, Arkansas on Highway 33. From US Highway 64, turn south on Highway 33. Follow Highway 33 approximately 16 miles. The headquarters is on the left side of the road.
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Two centuries ago the Lower Mississippi River Valley contained over 24 million acres of bottomland hardwood and swamp forests. Today, only 4.4 million acres of wetland forests remain, most as islands in a sea of agriculture lands. In efforts to re-link these fragmented forests and improve habitat, the refuge conducts an aggressive reforestation program. Many agricultural tracts purchased by the refuge are planted with the hardwood trees that once covered the land before man's intervention. The native oaks, cypress, gum and pecan trees planted will enhance wildlife diversity and prevent soil loss from erosion. To date, approximately 10,000 acres have been planted in this on-going long-term program.
The refuge's approved acquisition boundary contains 175,000 acres. Acquisition on a willing seller basis will continue with the goal of completing the acquisition boundary. The acquisition program has allowed many isolated tracts to be connected, marginal row cropland to be reforested with native species, and bottomland hardwood corridors to be re-established. The long-term goal is to reforest the refuge with the exception of specialized management units, thereby providing a hardwood corridor the entire length of the acquisition boundary distance of seventy air miles. This restoration and management action will result in habitat and major corridors for the endemic species including black bear and many guilds of migratory birds including shore and wading birds, neo-tropicals and waterfowl.
Water management capability has been developed on several units to provide numerous habitat types. These include Green Timber Reservoirs for waterfowl, moist soil management units, mud flats for migratory shorebirds, and cooperative farming to provide food for waterfowl. The cooperative farming program is the catalyst which provides the opportunity to complete a major portion of the intensive management on the refuge. Through the use of the farmers equipment and manpower, management objectives are completed which otherwise could not be accomplished.