FELSENTHAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Established in 1975, Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in southeast Arkansas, approximately eight miles west of the town of Crossett. Named for a small community located at its southwest corner, this 65,000 acre refuge contains an abundance of water resources dominated by the Ouachita and Saline Rivers and the Felsenthal Pool.
This low lying area is dissected by an intricate system of rivers, creeks, sloughs, buttonbush swamps and lakes throughout a vast bottomland hardwood forest that gradually rises to an upland forest community. Historically, periodic flooding of the "bottoms" during winter and spring provided excellent wintering waterfowl habitat. These wetlands, in combination with the pine and upland hardwood forest on the higher ridges, support a wide diversity of native plants and animals.
Management activities within the refuge are designed to maintain and enhance the natural qualities of the area and provide optimum habitat for wildlife. Carefully timed flooding of hardwood forest communities commonly referred to as green-tree reservoir management, provides thousands of acres of habitat for wintering waterfowl. Felsenthal NWR is home to the world's largest green-tree reservoir consisting of the 15,000 acre Felsenthal Pool that is more than doubled to 36,000 acres during winter-time flooding. Water level management in other impoundments, such as moist soil units, stimulates the growth of native wetland plant species and an abundance of insects, crustaceans and mollusks, all highly favored foods of migratory waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds.
Forest management practices focus on providing excellent conditions for the variety of wildlife living in the forest. Prescribed burning, thinning, regeneration and stand improvement are some of the techniques used to enhance and maintain optimum habitat conditions. In the upland areas, the timber is managed primary for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker where artificial nest inserts are placed in mature pine trees to supplement suitable cavities.