EUFAULA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964, on the Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula) in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers (COE). The reservoir resulted from impoundment of the Chattahoochee River between Alabama and Georgia. The Refuge, lying on the upper reaches of the reservoir, consists of 11,184 acres. There are 7,953 acres in Barbour and Russell Counties, Alabama, and 3,231 in Stewart and Quitman Counties, Georgia.
The refuge lies on the eastern edge of the Mississippi Flyway in Alabama and Georgia.
The Georgia Unit consists of shoreline along the Chattahoochee River and the Bradley Impoundment. The Bradley Impoundment is comprised of wetlands, agricultural fields, and timberlands. The Alabama portion of the refuge includes the Davis & Clark Unit, the Kennedy Impoundment, the Houston Unit, the Molnar Unit, the Upland Unit, and many miles of shoreline along the western edge of the Chattahoochee River and Lake Eufaula. The land of the Alabama portion is a mosaic of wetlands, croplands, woodlands, and grasslands.
The varied habitats provide adequate shelter for migratory waterfowl and neotropical migratory birds. Wildlife species such as deer, turkey, quail, dove, hawks, owls, rabbits, squirrel, otters, coyote, bobcat and beaver to name a few are present on the refuge throughout the year. Other inhabitants include large populations of reptiles, amphibians, insects and fishes. The habitat of Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge also provides protection for endangered and threatened species such as the bald eagle, wood stork, American alligator and the occasional peregrine falcon.
Muscogee Creek Indians once inhabited the land now known as the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge.
Hardwood trees dominated the landscape and the river's edges were filled with Muscogee Creek Indian villages. In the 1800's European settlers moved into the area and a prosperous town developed. The town, which served as a port city for steamboats along the Chattahoochee River, was named Irwinton after the founder. Irwinton's name was later changed to Eufaula in honor of a local indian tribe. As the town of Eufaula expanded the hardwood trees were cleared for agriculture. After World War II local residents reforested the previously cleared land with pine plantations. In 1963 the Corps of Engineers impounded a portion of the Chattahoochee River to improve navigation. The dam created Lake Walter F. George / Lake Eufaula. Local Eufaulians wanted to provide a place for migratory waterfowl and other resident wildlife species, while providing beautiful natural scenery. In 1964 the residents were pleased by the creation of the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge. A positive bond still exists between the Eufaula NWR and the greater Eufaula community.