The federal government has given the green light to expand Felsenhal National Wildlife Refuge by approximately 10,000 acres.
The expansion will be funded by $18.4 million that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission directed from monies raised out of the sale of the Duck Stamp.
“Arkansas’s world-class duck hunting tradition is only enhanced when we preserve wildlife habitat,” said Sen. John Boozman. “The expansion of the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge will allow for responsible conservation efforts to ensure future generations of outdoor enthusiasts can continue participating in and building on one of our state’s favorite pastimes that also drives significant economic activity.”
The 9,276 acres, all of which are adjacent to the refuge, are in Ashley and Union counties.
Felsenthal NWR Visitor Services Specialist Amanda Wilkinson said approximately 1,020 of the acres are in Ashley County, and are adjacent to the southernmost part of Pine Island.
“There is a significant biological value in support of the diversity of our wildlife species and habitats (in this addition),” Wilkinson said. “This is a positive step in these lands.”
Wilkinson said the addition will bring in additional corridors for migratory birds and bears, and for the refuge’s purposes in general.