Thursday, June 6, 2013
Mingo Refuge Is a Unique Visit Nature abounds at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge near Puxico. It’s a perfect place to see many animals in their native habitat. The refuge contains 21,592 acres and lies in a basin formed in an ancient abandoned channel of the Mississippi River. Mingo National Wildlife Refuge also contains a 7,730-acre Wilderness Area designated as wilderness by Congress under the 1964 Wilderness Act to “…protect and preserve the wilderness character…for the use and enjoyment of the American people in a way that will leave these areas unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness.” Mingo originally was established as a resting and wintering area for migratory waterfowl and other birds. The refuge contains a 7,730 acre wilderness area and roughly 15,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, 3,500 acres of marsh and water, 506 acres of cropland, 704 acres of seasonally flooded impoundments, and 474 acres of grassy openings. Hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography are encouraged in the Wilderness Area. Mingo National Wildlife Refuge is recognized as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society as the refuge supports bird species and habitats that are of conservation priority. Mingo Wilderness is an area with
numerous tributaries forming a storage watershed in the Monopoly Marsh and Mingo River basin. A series of ditches and levees adjacent to the Wilderness Area help approximate hydrologic conditions that once occurred naturally. A large diversity of flora and fauna exists within this system which is home to indigenous species, such as river otter, bowfin, hairy-lip fern, and nesting bald eagles. The Wilderness Area also serves as an important wintering area for migratory waterfowl. Mingo is a major migration and wintering area for migratory waterfowl; populations of 125,000 mallards and 75,000 Canada geese have been recorded. Bald eagles have been successively nesting on the refuge since 1985. It is also a critical habitat for swamp rabbits, wood ducks, migrating monarch butterflies, and other species. As the largest remaining tract of bottomland hardwood forest in Missouri, the Mingo Wilderness depends on the safeguards of the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Public Law 94-557, and the Draft Wilderness Stewardship Policy of 2001. These laws are important to protect against a loss of wilderness character leading to a loss of biological integrity and degradation of air and water quality, as well as adverse impacts of invasive species such as feral hogs, nutria, Sericea lespedeza, etc.
While motorized recreational activities are prohibited inside the Mingo Wilderness Area, motorized traffic does occur along non-wilderness corridor roads alongside a network of waterways. Hik-
ing, fishing, wildlife observation, environmental education and interpretation are allowed, as well as biological research as approved through refuge management.
A NEW VISITOR CENTER is nearing completion at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge near Puxico. Mingo originally was established as a resting and wintering area for migratory waterfowl and other birds. The refuge contains a 7,730 acre wilderness area and roughly 15,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, 3,500 acres of marsh and water, 506 acres of cropland, 704 acres of seasonally flooded impoundments, and 474 acres of grassy openings. Hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography are encouraged in the Wilderness Area.
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