16 Refuges Close

Katrina leaves hunters wondering about upcoming seasons

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Buildings aren't the only ones to feel the effects of storm surges and high winds. The fragile ecosystems of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, where numerous wildlife refuges are located, are also susceptible to the elements. After Katrina left cities leveled, Fish and Wildlife Service employees found the same was true for several wilderness areas.

Two refuges in Alabama along with fourteen in Louisiana and Mississippi will be shut down indefinitely. Little is known about the extent of habitat damage. FWS employees have been focusing on humanitarian relief before worrying about animals, one spokesman said.

It's too early to know what kind of impact the refuge closures will have on the impending hunting seasons.