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  Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge

Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is one of the nation's wetland treasures. It is managed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Lower Hatchie NWR is one of more than 540 National Wildlife Refuges and is one of 4 National Wildlife Refuges managed from the West Tennessee complex office in Dyersburg. The refuge currently encompasses 9,107 acres and is located approximately 3 miles southwest of Henning, Tennessee. It was established in 1980 to benefit migratory birds with an emphasis on wintering waterfowl management. Secondary objectives were to protect, manage, and enhance the ever diminishing bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem, to protect endangered species, and to protect, manage, and enhance habitat for other species of wildlife and plants, and to provide compatible public use opportunities. The area is unique in many different aspects; one of which is that it encompasses the bulk of the remaining bottomland hardwood forests along the banks of the lower 17 miles of the Hatchie River. It is a very significant landholding for conservation and management along the Mississippi Flyway within the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley floodplain. The Hatchie River bisects the refuge and flows into the Mississippi River at the westernmost point of the refuge boundary. Thus, the majority of refuge lands make up a significant portion of the Hatchie and Mississippi Rivers' floodplain in rural western Tennessee. Primary habitat types on the refuge include 5,280 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, 1,278 acres of croplands, 75 acres of lakes/open water, 922 acres of upland forest, 665 acres of grasslands, and 887 acres of marshlands. The area is home to hundreds of wildlife species including bald eagles, Mississippi kites, wild turkey, neotropical songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, as well as numerous species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and insects.

Lower Hatchie NWR is located north of Memphis between Covington and Ripley west of Highway 51N on Highway 87W. The main office and maintenance shop are located approximately 18 miles down Highway 87W on the left just before the Mississippi River. Sunk Lake PUNA is located off Highway 87W; take Sunk Lake Road to the right after passing Woodard's Grocery. The main entrance (i.e. look for the sign and gate) to the southern unit is approximately four miles down Sunk Lake Road on the right.

Example photo from FWS Example photo from FWS