Upper Ouachita and Felsenthal Refuge Expansion Proposal
Conserving the Nature of America
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About the Proposal


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed a Draft Land Protection Plan and Environmental Assessment (LPP/EA) and will receive comments on a proposal to increase the size of the acquisition boundaries for Upper Ouachita and Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuges.

The Service is seeking to enhance conservation of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley by
linking and expanding the two major National Wildlife Refuges. If approved, the Service could purchase 50,459 additional acres from willing sellers only to ultimately allow for the conservation of more than 172,000 contiguous acres and 58 river miles of
wildlife habitat.

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News and Upcoming Events


March 22, 2013 - Extension of Comment Period on the Proposed Expansion of Upper Ouachita and Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuges

In response to requests received, the Service is extending the comment period on the Draft LPP/EA from March 22, 2013 to April 22, 2013.

The Service will hold an open house during the extended comment period on April 4, 2013, from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Felsenthal NWR Visitor Center, 5531 Highway 82 West, Crossett, AR, 71635. The public is invited to this open house event to gather information, discuss the proposal, and offer comments. Refuge staff will be available to answer any questions.

For more information:


February 22, 2013 - Public Comment Period Now Open

We are accepting comments on the draft land protection plan and environmental assessment from February 22 to April 22, 2013. Land purchases for a national wildlife refuge can only be made within an approved acquisition boundary. If approved, the acquisition boundary for Upper Ouachita Refuge would increase by up to 18,489 acres and up to 31,970 acres for Felsenthal Refuge. The new acquisition boundaries would encompass 172,000 acres in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, and Bradley, Union, and Ashley counties, Arkansas. The Service would purchase land within this acquisition boundary from willing sellers only.

Two public scoping meetings were held in July 2011 in Crossett, Arkansas and Bastrop, Louisiana.

Download the draft land protection plan and environmental assessment (PDF, 3.2MB)


Stay Informed

Please send questions or comments to Tina Chouinard:

  • Mail: Tina Chouinard, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 49 Plainsbrook Place, Jackson, TN 38305
  • Email: tina_chouinard@fws.gov
  • Fax: 731-664-1566

Proposed Project Schedule

  • Conduct meetings with government contacts and key partners within the proposed expansion area: April - May 2011
  • Conduct public scoping meetings: July 2011
  • Develop Draft Land Protection Plan and associated NEPA documentation for public review: August - October 2012
  • Public comment period: February 22 - March 22, 2013
  • Develop final plan and associated NEPA documentation: May 2013



A brightly colored bird with blue, green, red and purple feathers on a plant

Painted bunting. Photo: Ed McGuire.

Map of Proposed Expansion

Map showing the proposed expansion boundaries
Click for full size.
Last updated: March 22, 2013