Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge
|Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Ripley County, Jefferson County, Jennings County, Indiana, United States|
|Nearest city||Madison, Indiana|
|Area||50,000 acres (200 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge is a 50,000-acre (202 km2) nature preserve in southeast Indiana, USA near Madison, Indiana. The refuge is the largest of Indiana's three, and is located in parts of Ripley, Jefferson, and Jennings counties.
The refuge was formed in 2000 after a 1989 order to gradually close the Jefferson Proving Ground, a World War II era munitions testing facility, which was completed by 1995. The refuge is located north of the historic firing line and surrounds a 1,000-acre (4 km2) parcel operated by the Indiana Air National Guard. A zone used for firing tests remains off limit to the public due to the prohibitive cost of cleanup.
Due to the past use-history of the property as an ordnance testing facility, all visitors must view a safety video and sign an Acknowledgement of Danger form annually prior to entering the refuge.
Over 200 species of birds and 46 species of mammals are found on the refuge.
- "Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge: Introduction". U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on 6 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- Moss, Dale (2003-01-26). "Proving Ground enjoying new life". Courier-Journal. pp. 1B (Indiana Edition).
- Weslander, Eric (2000-06-16). "Indiana wildlife refuge plan is outlined". Courier-Journal. pp. 1A.
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