Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri

#56 of 61 in Wildlife in Missouri
The Mingo National Wildlife Refuge is a 21,676-acre National Wildlife Refuge located in northwestern Stoddard and southeastern Wayne counties in Missouri. Its southwesternmost portion lies on the shores of Lake Wappapello. Named after the Mingo tribe, it was established to preserve bottomland hardwoods and provide waterfowl and other migratory birds in the Mississippi Flyway with nesting, feeding, brooding, and resting habitat.
The refuge is maintained with a 9-person staff, with a fiscal year 2004 budget of $1.2 million.
In 1804, the United States acquired this territory in the Louisiana Purchase. At that time, the population of the entire Bootheel was sparse, and the swamp area was considered inaccessible. When Missouri became a state in 1821, all of the counties in southeast Missouri had settlers, except Stoddard and Dunklin Counties, although Cape Girardeau was one of the most important river towns in Missouri.
Settlers first came to the swamp because of the vast cypress and tupelo forests. The giant cypress trees were the first to be used for railroad ties and building lumber. The T.J. Moss Tie Company was a large Bootheel lumbering operation, with its headquarters in Puxico, Missouri. By 1888, T.J. Moss was the largest tie contractor in the state, and many of their ties were cut from trees taken from the swamp. A large mill was operated just north of Puxico on land now within Mingo NWR. Local sources claim that, at one time, the mill was the largest bandsaw mill in America. The lumber industry reached peak production in the Bootheel between 1900 and 1910. During its peak, the Bootheel was consistently the leading lumber-producing area of Missouri. However, by 1935, most of the large operations had ceased. The giant trees were cut and it was necessary to find lumber in other places.
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Mingo National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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6 reviews
  • I was very excited to walk the boardwalk at Mingo. It was a leisurely walk with my 2 dogs. Sadly, there was not any water or wildlife to see. I walked on the boardwalk through what was essentially a f...  more »
  • A friend and I stopped in today to their new visitor's center. A park ranger named Jessica was so very helpful! She knows her job well, and was very informative. We will be back again, when we have mo...  more »
  • A beautiful place to go if you are a bird watcher. A lot of places to fish and hike. The roads are a little confusing so make sure you pick up a map at the office. You will enjoy the place.
  • It is a awsome place to walk and see nature

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