Fall is a great time of year to visit Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge! Wildflowers, maturing grasses, and the changing colors of trees paints the refuge in a brilliant mosaic of yellow, orange, red, blue, green, and brown. The refuge will be hosting several tours during the month of October for those interested in observing fall colors. The tours will include discussions of the natural and cultural history of the refuge. Tour dates will be October 14th, 17th, 21st, 24th, and 28th and tours will meet at the refuge office at 8:00 AM and return around 11:30 AM. All participants will be required to view a 20-minute safety video prior to departure. Tour sizes are limited and reservations may be made by calling the refuge at 812-273-0783. The entrance fee of $3.00 per person applies. For directions to the refuge, please call or visit www.fws.gov/refuge/big_oaks.
Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) consists of approximately 50,000 acres on the former Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG) located in Jennings, Ripley, and Jefferson Counties in southeastern Indiana. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and provides excellent public use opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, interpretation, and environmental education. The refuge has one of the largest contiguous forest blocks in southeastern Indiana as well as one of the largest grassland complexes in the state, both of which provide wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities to refuge visitors.
Go on a nature walk or a birding tour, participate in fishing or a special hunt, enter a photography or wildlife art contest, or simply enjoy the splendors of nature at one of the nearly 550 national wildlife refuges.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses nearly 550 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.