Digging Caliche for the Road at Muleshoe National Wildlife RefugePublic Domain (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/26093667486/)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Muleshoe Migratory Waterfowl Refuge by executive order on October 24, 1935. In 1940 the name was changed to the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge. The original tract purchased for the refuge was 738 acres. The refuge is currently 6,440 acres.
One of the primary purposes of the establishment of the refuge was to provide land that could be used to feed birds and thus reduce damage to commercial crops in the area. This would also decrease bird deaths by farmers protecting their crops from destruction. Additional benefits of building the refuge included providing a necessary link in the Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Program, providing a resting area for migrating birds and providing employment to local men while developing the area.
All New Deal wildlife refuges were purchased and administered by the Bureau of Biological Survey, which became the US Fish and Wildlife Service in a 1940 reorganization.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) started working on the refuge on Febuary 1, 1938. Two project numbers are in the records for the refuge, 105-3-66-130 and 05-3-66-92. There were 112 WPA laborers by June 1938. The men built the managers quarters, a vehicle storage building, the refuge office, the dams across all three lakes on the property, the caliche road connecting the refuge headquarters to Highway 214 and 21 miles of fence. They planted 290,000 trees and shrubs and 160 acres of grain for the birds to feed on. The WPA ended their work at the refuge in 1942. Only 10-15 men were employed by the WPA by this time.
Muleshoe and Grulla National Wildlife Refuges Comprehensive Conservation Plan, pages 10 & 12
(https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/1520?Reference=1545), accessed March 27, 2018.
Note cards on historical photographs from the National Archives and Records Administration digitized by the Historic Sites and Structures Program, Texas State Parks (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157666472597656), accessed March 27, 2018.
(https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Proclamation_2416), accessed March 27, 2018.
(https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Muleshoe/about.html), accessed March 27, 2018.
Project originally submitted by Larry Moore on March 29, 2018.
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