National Wildlife Refuge
John Kasbohm, Refuge Manager
Lower Suwannee NWR
16450 NW 31st Place
Chiefland, FL 32626
Phone: 352/493 0238
Fax: 352/493 1935
* Established: 1979.
* Acres: 52,998 (fee ownership of
51,104 acres and Management
Agreements on 1,831 acres).
* Located in Dixie and Levy
* Location: The refuge
headquarters is located 14 miles
southeast of Chiefland, FL, just
off of County Road 347 (1.5 miles
south of Fowlers Bluff). The
refuge can also be accessed from
Dixie County Road 349, 10 miles
south of Old Town, or from Dixie
County Road 357, 14 miles south
of Cross City.
* Administers Cedar Keys NWR as
part of complex.
* Refuge occupies lands along the
lower reaches of Suwannee River,
beginning at Yellow Jacket and
continuing for 20 miles until the
River flows into the Gulf of
* From the mouth of the river, the
refuge stretches along the Gulf of
Mexico for 10 miles northward
almost to Horseshoe Beach, and
Southward to Cedar Key.
* Comprises and protects 36,000
acres of wetlands and 16,000
acres of uplands.
* Important habitat for wading and
shore birds, migratory song
birds, bald eagles, ospreys and
Financial Impact of Refuge
* 13-person staff.
* 165,000 visitors annually.
* Current budget (FY 05) $885,400.
* Expand scientifically-based
monitoring and research to
support management decision on
wildlife habitat and populations.
* Restore, conserve, and enhance
the natural diversity, abundance,
and ecological function of refuge
habitat, with an emphasis on
managing habitat to benefit
threatened and endangered
species and those of special
concern in the State of Florida.
* Protect refuge natural and
cultural resources to ensure their
integrity and to fulfill the mission
of the National Wildlife Refuge
* Provide opportunities for
interpretation and wildlife-
dependent recreation in
accordance with the National
Wildlife Refuge System Act of
* Promote interagency and private
landowner cooperation and
partnerships for the management
and protection of natural and
cultural resources within the Big
Bend area of Florida, the
Suwannee River Basin, and the
North Florida Ecosystem to
benefit wildlife, water quality and
quantity, and the American
* Forest management including
commercial sale of timber
* Prescribed fire to improve
wildlife habitat and protect
against wildfire outbreaks.
* Deer and feral hog management
through public hunting.
* Law enforcement.
LoIweYlr Si I LSuwa.1 In Inee L'Nat ioIl BA 11111 I R euel
Public Use Opportunities Questions and Answers Are there ,.i ,- tri
* Fifty miles of roads open to Is the refuge open to the i "'i'l'. There are fifty mile
public vehicle traffic. Generally, the refuge is open for limerock roads opei
wildlife-dependent recreation. Please bicycle traffic. Addi
* Fifty miles of secondary woods call ahead or consult refuge fifty miles of gated
roads for foot and bike traffic. brochures for specific issues, like open only to foot or
SWalking trails and interpretive hunting or fishing. Dixie County, there
a Walking trails and interpretive
interpretive auto ar
bicycle and auto trail. interpretive auto ar
Is there hunting / .. ,, /il. going on, which connects Cou
* Boardwalks, observation towers if so is it safe to visit? and 357, called the -
and fishing piers. There are areas with walking trails Trail. The trail pass
fobservan that remain closed to hunting all year. pines, bottomland h
Wildlife/wildlands observation These include the river trail that cypress sloughs, ha
and photography provides a view of the beautiful hammocks, and cro
* Breathtaking vistas. Suwannee River and the Shell Mound influenced creeks. I
with bank fishing, walking trails, and available at either e
* Hunting. breath-taking vistas of the gulf coast. from the refuge offi
* Saltwater and freshwater fishing.
We like to drive around and look at
* One and three hour canoe trails wildlife, do the gates close at night?
near the mouth of the Suwannee No, the gates do not close at night.
River. Canoeing and sea kayaking You are welcome to drive through or
on other coastal creeks. night fish. Camping, fires and the use
Calendar of Events of spotlights are not permitted.
January: Good time for viewing
wintering waterfowl in coastal areas, We are lookingfor a place to camp
small game hunting. while visiting the area and refuge. Is
there a place to camp?
February: Peak of Bald Eagle Camping is not permitted on the
i I ii-., ospreys begin i .I ii-. night refuge. There are several private
hunting for raccoons. campgrounds in both Levy and Dixie
counties near the refuge that you can
March: Swallow-tailed kites return to stay at for a reasonable fee. In
nest on the refuge, spring bird addition Levy County operates a
migration begins, wild turkey hunting campground within the refuge at
opens. Shell Mound, and Dixie County
April: Peak of spring migration, operates a campground within the
Cedar Keys Arts Festival third refuge at Shired Island. Both are
weekend in April, annually, wild open on a first come basis and a small
turkey hunting season continues. fee is charged.
May: International Migratory Bird What is needed to hunt on the refuge?
Day, peak of breeding bird activity. The refuge provides both quota and
June August: Great time to explore nonquota hunts. Requirements for
the river and coastal areas by boat. the non-quota hunts will not change
from previous years. All hunts except
August 15 September 15: Peak of for an either sex deer hunt and a
Fall Migration for shore birds. youth hunt will be open to all
applicants. A free refuge brochure
September: Archery deer hunting. that contains the season dates,
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