U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge Photos (top to bottom) Financial Impact of Refuge Senator Mitch McConnell at the ■ Seven-person staff. Clarks River NWR dedication. ■ Estimated 40,000 visitors per year. Dedication Ceremony. Refuge is located in close proximity Wood ducks. to the National Recreational Area - U.S. Forest Service Land Between photo: USFWS Canada warbler. the Lakes, and many other State Refuge Facts Wildlife Management Areas offering ■ Established in 1997. a multitude of outdoor oriented activities. ■ Acres: 8,500. Refuge Objective ■ Located in Marshall, McCracken, The primary management objective and Graves County, Kentucky. for the refuge is to provide habitat for a natural diversity of wildlife ■ Location: the refuge is located in associated with the Clarks River western Kentucky between Benton ﬂoodplain and includes: and Paducah on the East Fork of the Clarks River. Wintering habitat for migratory photo: USFWS ■ waterfowl. Natural History ■ The refuge was ﬁrst identiﬁed as ■ Habitat for nongame migratory a high priority site for protection birds. in 1978 by the Fish and Wildlife Services Bottomland Hardwood ■ Opportunities for wildlife Preservation Program. In 1991 dependent recreation. the Kentucky Department of Fish Management Tools and Wildlife Resources asked the The primary management tools for Service to consider the site for the refuge are: photo: Forest Service protection as a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System. ■ Water management for waterfowl. ■ Clarks River National Wildlife ■ Forest management for migratory Refuge is the only National Wildlife songbirds. Refuge located solely within the State of Kentucky. ■ Cooperative farming. ■ The most signiﬁcant resource values ■ Banding wood ducks. of this area are the wetland habitat ■ Banding migratory songbirds. complexes formed by the river, creeks, beaver ponds, and natural ■ Public hunting and ﬁshing. ponding. photo: Forest Service ■ Education and interpretation. ■ This natural wetland ecosystem is relatively intact and has ■ Research. high wildlife habitat values, ■ Law enforcement. particularly for migratory birds and other species representative of ■ Partnerships. bottomland hardwood systems. Michael Johnson, Refuge Manager Public Use Opportunities Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge ■ The hardwood dominated forests The primary public use opportunities P.O. Box 89 are used as breeding, wintering, for the proposed refuge will be: Benton, KY 42025 and migration habitat by many Phone: 270/527 5770 species of neotropical migratory ■ Hunting and ﬁshing. Fax: 270/527 5052 birds. ■ Wildlife observation and E-mail: FW4RWClarksRiver/R4/FWS/ photography. DOI@fws.gov U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ■ Hiking. ■ Wildlife education and interpretation programs. Questions and Answers Will the Service be condemning land to create this refuge? It is not the Service’s policy to use condemnation. Also, all of the funds obtained so far for land acquisition have a stipulation attached to them which forbids expending those funds on condemned land. Will hunting be allowed? Yes. The refuge is open to hunting according to special regulations contained in the free hunting permit. If I sell my land to the Government, can I still farm it? In most cases yes, under a cooperative farming agreement worked out with the Service. In some cases, where the land has been historically marginal to poor in production, the Service may decide to discontinue farming practices and restore the land to it’s original habitat. What do I do if I am interested in selling my land to the Refuge? Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Realty at 1/800/419 9582 or contact the Refuge Manager Michael Johnson in Benton, Kentucky at 270/527 5770. What if I do not want to sell my land? You do not have to sell your land to the refuge. This refuge will be acquired from willing sellers only!
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