Wildlife Refuge Scheduled to Open

Anniston, AL – A wildlife refuge at the former Fort McClellan is scheduled to open later this month, but only about 1/3 of the refuge will be open to the public. The Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge will open December 20. But U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say only about 3,300 acres will be open for hunting and wildlife observation during daylight hours. The refuge was established in May 2003. It was originally scheduled to open October 1, but the date was pushed back because of an investigation into an exploded ordnance removal violation. The Army formerly used the more than 9,000 acres as a firing range. The sanctuary was established to protect old-growth forests and the last remaining mountain longleaf pine forests in the Southeast.