National Wildlife Refuges

Region 3
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Region 3 includes Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin refuges.

Crab Orchard Wilderness Area - (IL)
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

Crab Orchard Wilderness was established by Congress in 1976 and contains 4,050 acres. This unglaciated landscape contains steep sandstone outcroppings and southern hardwood forests laced with numerous creeks, bordered by two large man-made reservoirs. Plant species range from orchids to prickly-pear cactus, and over 115 different types of trees.

Seney Wilderness Area - (MI)
Seney National Wildlife Refuge

The Seney Wilderness was established in 1970 and contains 25,150 acres. The wilderness is located in what is known as the Great Manistique Swamp. Habitats range from open water to hardwoods, spruce, and pine forests. The majority of the wilderness is characterized by string bog topography, with moist organic soils and sand ridge islands.

Huron Islands Wilderness Area - (MI)
Seney National Wildlife Refuge

The Huron Islands Wilderness contains 147 acres on 8 remote islands in Lake Superior. These islands are composed of pink and gray granite covered with trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, and exposed rock that is barren or covered with lichens and mosses. The rocks rise nearly 200 feet above the lake with steep cliffs on the south and rounded, glacial and wave worn rock surfaces on the ends and north sides. A historic lighthouse and associated support buildings are located on one of the islands, owned by the Coast Guard as an inholding in the wilderness area.

Michigan Islands Wilderness - (MI)
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Three islands compose the Michigan Islands Wilderness: Shoe (2 acres) and Pismire (3 acres) are located in Lake Michigan, and Scarecrow (7 acres) is located in Lake Huron. All three islands are composed of sand and gravel on a glacial boulder base. Show Island is often overtopped by storm waters and is devoid of tree growth. Pismire supports both tree and shrub life. Both islands support colonial nesting gulls. Scarecrow Island is composed of glacial boulders and gravel with a rocky substrate. Numerous shrubs and trees support nesting heron and cormorant colonies.

Agassiz Wilderness Area - (MN)
Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

The Agassiz wilderness was established in 1976 and contains approximately 4,000 acres. Located in the extreme northwest part of Minnesota, on an ancient embayment in the bed of glacial Lake Agassiz, the Agassiz wilderness is situated in a narrow ecotonal zone between grasslands to the west and deciduous forest to the east. This wilderness area is a large peninsula of bog and timber habitat lying between three major refuge water impoundments. Covered with blackspruce and tamarack and surrounded by aspen and willow, this community represents one of the most westerly extensions of this forest type in Minnesota.

Tamarac Wilderness Area - (MN)
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

The Tamarac Wilderness was established in 1976 and contains 2,100 acres. The wilderness terrain includes small lakes, wooded potholes, bogs, and marshes. Much of area is forested with white pine, maple, red oak, birch, and elm, with an understory of hazelbrush. Portions of the area were logged off in the early years of the twentieth century and contain second-growth aspen. On the lower, wetter sites, ash, balsam poplar, tamarack, and spruce are common. This northern wilderness is home to bald eagles, ospreys, black bear, and ruffed grouse, as well as numerous passerine birds.

Mingo Wilderness Area - (MO)
Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

The Mingo Wilderness Area was established in 1976 and contains 7,730 acres. The area is primarily a bottomland hardwood swamp formed in a linear basin of an ancient, abandoned channel of the Mississippi River and bordered by the foothills of the Ozark Uplift. The wilderness area contains cypress and tupelo trees, American lotus, and hundreds of other species of trees and plants.

West Sister Island Wilderness - (OH)
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

West Sister Island is an 82-acre island located in the western basin of Lake Erie. It is jointly owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Five acres, including a lighthouse, are owned by the Coast Guard but managed along with the other 77 acres by the Service as a wilderness. Tall hackberry trees with an understory of poison ivy, ferns, solomon's seal, and a variety of wildflowers are common on the island. West Sister Island is noted for having the largest heron/egret rookery in the Great Lakes.

Wisconsin Islands Wilderness Area - (WI)
Horicon National Wildlife Refuge

The Wisconsin Islands Wilderness (includes Gravel Island and Green Bay NWRs) contains three small islands known as Gravel (4 acres), Spider (23 acres), and Hg (2 acres) Island, located offshore of Door County in Lake Michigan. While the most abundant species of wildlife on the islands is the herring gull, Spider Island also supports dense colonies of ring-billed gulls and double crested cormorants. Other colonial nesting birds include the great blue heron and black crowned night heron.

Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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