Welcome Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge
Upper Ouachita NWR, established in 1978, consists of 49,948 acres located in Union and Ouachita Parishes. The legislative purposes for the refuge are to conserve wetlands and manage for migratory birds. The refuge is bisected by the scenic Ouachita River and consists of upland pine-hardwood and bottomland hardwood forest; agriculture, moist-soil wetlands, and open water. Upper Ouachita NWR provides excellent wintering habitat for tens of thousands of ducks and geese. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the threatened Louisiana black bear are found here. Other wildlife species that call the refuge home include alligators, deer, turkey, squirrels, bald eagles and beavers. Upper Ouachita NWR is one of the five refuges managed in the North Louisiana Refuges Complex.
Habitat management focuses primarily on reforestation, controlling invasive species, prescribed burning of upland pine forest, thinning of upland and bottomland forest, maintaining moist-soil units, and farming for waterfowl foraging habitat.
Getting There . . .
Although Upper Ouachita NWR does not have a visitor center, many points of access are available to the public. Access Finch Bayou Recreation area and the scenic River Road on the west side of the refuge by way of La. Hwy 143. From Haile, Louisiana, turn east on Hooker Hole Road. Drive four miles and turn north onto River Road. Visitors can access the east side of the refuge in Morehouse Parish by way of Bastrop, Louisiana. From Hwy 425, turn onto Bonner Ferry Rd (Hwy 593). Turn left onto Cave Off Road and then right onto Prairie DeButte Rd. At the end of the road, turn left onto Stevenson Road and drive straight through into the refuge. For more access points onto the refuge, refer to a refuge brochure. Refuge headquarters are located on D'Arbonne NWR.
Habitat Management Plan
Native Hardwood Forest Restoration
A Forestland Restoration Partinership Between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Funds's Go Zero® Program
Refuge Bird Sightings
eBird is a real-time, online bird checklist that any birdwatcher can use. eBird is sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Here you can see which birds have been seen in the past month on the refuge by birdwatchers. If you want to add your sightings, sign up at ebird.org. List the birds you saw on the refuge under the “hotspot” for Upper Ouachita NWR.