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Friends of Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

Located west of Marion, Illinois, on the northern edge of the Ozark foothills, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest refuges in the Great Lakes/Big Rivers Region. Established in 1947, the 43,890-acre Refuge includes three man-made lakes totaling 8,700 surface acres. The Refuge landscape also includes hardwood and pine forests, croplands, grasslands, wetlands, rolling hills, and rugged terrain with slopes of 24 percent. The 4,050-acre Crab Orchard Wilderness, the first wilderness area designated in the State of Illinois, is within the Refuge.  Crab Orchard Refugeis unique in the National Wildlife Refuge System in having an industrial program that the Refuge hosts an estimated 1.2 million visitors annually, and its recreation programs contribute $25 million to the local tourism economy. Public use opportunities at the Refuge include an auto tour route, hiking trails, hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation, boating, swimming, camping, and picnicking.

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