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Friends of Felsenthal Newsletter

2nd Quarter, 2013

Friends of Felsenthal NWR PO Box 932 Crossett, AR 71635 Refuge Phone: 870-364-3167

Next Friends Meeting

The next meeting of the Friends of Felsenthal will be Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, at 6:00 p.m., at the Felsenthal NWR Visitor Center. All members are welcome and are encouraged to bring a new Friend of Felsenthal. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Expansion Plan for Upper Ouachita and Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuges
Plan will link two refuges
This issue of the Friends of Felsenthal Newsletter will highlight the proposed expansion of Felsenthal and Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuges.

Current users of Felsenthal NWR understand that we are blessed with a wonderful resource one that would not be here without the management, guidance and forethought of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. On February 22nd, the FWS released a proposed expansion plan for Felsenthal and Upper Ouachita refuges and is currently taking public comments. The Draft Land Protection Plan for Felsenthal and Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuges identifies up to 50,459 acres between the two refuges for possible boundary expansion (See map). The land consists of upland pine and bottomland hardwood forests in Union, Bradley, and Ashley counties in Arkansas, and Morehouse Parish in Louisiana. If fully realized, the plan would allow for the conservation of over 173,000 contiguous acres of wildlife habitat and the protection of over 58 miles of the Ouachita River. The FWS has several objectives for expanding the refuges. One of the most obvious is to protect additional habitat from development or conversion to uses harmful to wildlife. When one thinks of either of these two refuges, our first thoughts usually go towards fish and waterfowl. The refuges contain a vast array of sloughs, creeks, lakes and, of course, the Ouachita and Saline Rivers. Fishing is the most popular activity on the refuges. The refuges are also a combination of waterfowl sanctuary lands where ducks, geese and other birds can roost and rest during their long migrations and thousands of acres of huntable property where sportsmen and women can call and decoy woodies, greenheads, teal and gadwall (and other species).

Expansion plans include 18,489 acres in Louisiana (orange) and 31,970 in Arkansas (red). Current refuge lands in yellow. The benefits we all gain from these refuges extend much further than the open waters and wetlands. Local sportsmen and women also enjoy hunting the refuges abundant white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkey and small game species. The refuges offer unique opportunities to anyone with the proper license and permit to pursue game in beautiful mature pine and hardwood forests managed specifically by FWS foresters and biologists to provide high quality wildlife habitat. The values of an expanded refuge are not limited to game species. The refuges are home to critters from tree

frogs to ospreys, from opossums to alligators and from beavers to woodpeckers. The continuity of habitat types, from open waters to bottomland hardwood to upland pine along a these river corridors is irreplaceable and the opportunity to expand the refuges is one we should support. Expansion of the refuges will enhance the FWSs ability to do large-scale projects that are unique to south Arkansas and north Louisiana. For example, the brush control, thinning and prescribed burning work done by the Service to improve habitat for the endangered redcockaded woodpecker also creates essential habitat for bobwhite quail and turkey. And the protected river corridor along the Saline and Ouachita Rivers not only safeguards water quality for area fishermen, but also allows species who require massive home ranges, like the black bear, to successfully become established. The expansion of the refuge will continue to build upon the refuges ability to attract sportsmen and women who spend money that supports the local economy. In a 2006 survey, it was reported that over 400,000 people visit Felsenthal Refuge annually and have a tremendous economic impact.


As a Friend of Felsenthal, this is a great opportunity to support Felsenthal and the National Refuge System. The Friends of Felsenthal can support the refuges expansion plan a couple of ways: Attend one of the public meetings and provide positive comments. - Thursday, April 4th, from 3 to 8, at the Felsenthal NWR Visitor Center - Tuesday, April 9th, from 5 to 8, at the Warren, AR, Courthouse Send comments directly to Tina Chouinard at the FWS: - By e-mail to: - USPO: Tina Chouinard, Resource Planner FWS 49 Plainsbrook Place Jackson, TN 38305 Comments do not have to be extensive or detailed. A sentence or two stating your support of the expansion plan is all thats needed. The deadline for submitting comments is April 22nd.

FAQs Where does the money come from?

Though the federal government is under a large debt load, funding for land acquisition would come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund (MBCF), and from non-governmental partners. The MBCF and LWCF are not derived from traditional tax revenues. The MBCF is collected from the sale of federal duck stamps, entrance fees from certain national wildlife refuges, and import duties on arms and ammunition. The LWCF is derived from the sale of offshore oil leases. Both funds are intended for land conservation and may be used to purchase the land or permanent conservation easements.

Upcoming Events at Felsenthal Refuge

Quarterly meeting Friends of Felsenthal.. April 16th Migratory Bird Day and Bird Walk.. May 11th Youth Fishing Derby.. June 8th

Friends of Felsenthal
Friends of Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1996 by a group of local citizens from Ashley, Union and Bradley Counties in southcentral Arkansas. The primary purposes of the Friends include generating funds to support programs and activities on the refuge and to assist in the recruitment of refuge volunteers. If you have a friend or family member who hunts, fishes, boats, or enjoys watching wildlife on the refuge, please encourage them to become members of Friends of Felsenthal.

How will the lands in the expansion be purchased?

It is the policy of the FWS that lands for refuges will be purchased from willing sellers only.

Will the expansion affect the counties?

Although the FWS does not pay local property taxes on the lands it owns, it does provide Revenue Sharing payments, which are intended to offset the loss of tax revenue to local jurisdictions. The amount of these payments is determined by Congressional appropriation.

Annual Membership Dues

Student $10 Individual $20 Family $30 Corporate $250
Mail dues to: Friends of Felsenthal, PO Box 932, Crossett, AR 71635

New members will receive a Friends tote bag and other Friends gifts.

Refuse on the Refuge Hauled Away During Operation Clean Sweep

The Felsenthal Refuge Sweep held on March 9th was a great success, with the greatest number of participants, the most prize money, and the most garbage collected yet. Over 3,000 pounds was collected in less than 2 hoursmore than triple the amount of any previous refuge sweep. Kiwanis Club of Crossett picked up 668 pounds of trash, while Ashley County 4-H Program picked up 851 pounds. The Hamburg Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts brought in 962 pounds of trash, and took first place for the most trash collected. The remaining poundage was picked up by refuge personnel and the Friends of Felsenthal when they were not assisting with organizing the event. The Friends of Felsenthal would like to thank Ideal Hardware of Crossett, Rotary of Crossett, and Steves Body and Frame for their generous donations that helped make this the best refuge sweep yet.

FoF President Richard Stich with happy Hamburg Scouts who won $250 for their hard work.

Ashley County 4-H poses with their collection from the Jones Lake area.

Friends of Felsenthal is now on Facebook!

The Friends have entered the world of social media. Please look up Friends of Felsenthal Refuge on Facebook and click on Like to receive news, events and posts about the Friends of Felsenthal.

Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge Felsenthal has a unique variety of habitats creating a living mosaic. Starting in the uplands, the refuge contains thousands of acres of natural pine stands, inhabited by turkey, quail and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. As you move closer to the river, pine gives way to bottomland hardwood home to raccoon and pileated woodpeckers. In the lowest forests are majestic stands of baldcypress and tupelo gum and some of the worlds premier wintering waterfowl habitat. Bass, crappie and bream fishing duck, deer and turkey hunting these pursuits are probably what the refuge is best known for but the area is also a wonderful resource for birding, canoeing and nature study. Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge is an exceptional resource right in our own backyard. We, at the Friends of Felsenthal hope that you will join and support us as we try to help the refuge fulfill its mission. Friends of Felsenthal Friends of Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1996 by a group of local citizens from Ashley, Union and Bradley Counties in south-central Arkansas. The primary purposes of the Friends include generating funds to support programs and activities on the refuge and to assist in the recruitment of refuge volunteers. Funds from the Friends are generated by membership fees, donations, grants and revenues from sales. All members are invited to attend regularly scheduled meetings with refuge personnel and participate in events and projects.

Friends of Felsenthal Inc.

Yes, I would like to become a member of Friends of Felsenthal, Inc.! Name_________________________________________ Membership Category: Address______________________________________ Student $10 City, St., Zip ___________________________________ Member $20 Phone ________________________________________ Family $30 Date Corporate $250 Email (Important! Most correspondence will be electronic)
_______________________________________ Mail with check to:

Friends of Felsenthal, Inc.

PO Box 932 Crossett, AR 71635

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