Environmental Assessment for the McGregor District Headquarters and Maintenance Facility Available for Comments

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed a draft Environmental Assessment proposing to construct, operate, and maintain an administrative headquarters and Visitor Contact Station, i.e., a multi-purpose building, along with adequate parking and entrance road in Allamakee County, Iowa. This multi-purpose building would support the McGregor District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Under the Proposed Action Alternative, the Service proposes to build a multipurpose building and associated facilities at the former Luster Heights Prison Camp. This 26-acre Luster Heights site was owned by the Iowa Department of Corrections and purchased by the Refuge in March 2020.

We propose to build within the footprint of the former buildings. This will include the construction of an approximately 5,000-6,000 square-foot one-story multi-purpose building, widening, and paving of an existing single lane gravel road to accommodate two-way traffic, construction of a hard- surfaced parking area and grass overflow area, on-site gravity septic system and construction of trails to connect to off-site state forest trails. This facility will serve as a visitor area, staff office, and have a multi-purpose space available for educational activities, meetings, training, and volunteer events.

To provide the space necessary to secure, properly store, and maintain valuable equipment necessary for the Refuge to meet habitat and public use goals, a maintenance facility and storage buildings would also be constructed. This would include a 6,000 square foot shop and 5,000 square foot cold storage building and associated infrastructure (security fence, above ground fuel tanks, etc.).

Funding for this project is to be through Great American Outdoors Act Great American Outdoors Act
This landmark conservation law, enacted in 2020, authorizes the use of up to $1.9 billion a year in energy development revenues for five years for needed maintenance to facilities and infrastructure in our wildlife refuges, national parks, forests, recreation areas and American Indian schools.

Learn more about Great American Outdoors Act
funds. The estimated cost of this project is between $10,000,000 and $12,000,000 dollars. Please provide your comments by September 3, 2023.

Environmental Assessment (EA)

Maps for EA

You can send your comments and/or questions by mail or email to:

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

McGregor District

Attn: Kendra Pednault

470 Cliff Haven Rd.

Prairie du Chien, WI 53821

608-326-0515 x 115