About Us 

The Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association was established in July of 1998 in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its purpose is to " promote conservation, awareness, and appreciation of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (Decatur, AL) and to provide assistance to environmental education programs and other conservation efforts on the Refuge”. Our operations and activities are managed by an all-volunteer board of directors and committees. 


The Association is part of a network of more than 200 "Friends Groups" nationwide, each associated with one or more national wildlife refuges, all committed to improving and protecting our unique refuge resources


Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization as defined under the laws of the state of Alabama and the United States Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)3.


Mission Statement

To conserve the natural and cultural resources of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and Satellite Refuges of Northern Alabama.



-Inform the public about the benefits of National Wildlife Refuges. 

-Provide opportunities for volunteers. 

-Locate funding for refuge projects and activities to enhance wildlife habitat. 

-Provide assistance to wildlife education resources. 

-Inform elected officials about refuge issues. 




















Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association Board of Directors, 2021

Mary Ratliff- President

Susan Estes- Vice President

John Hobdell- Secretary

Theresa Lowery- Treasurer

Nicole Mashburn- Member

Patricia Alred- Member

Ed Taylor- Member

Teresa Adams- Member

Tom Ress- Member


Refuge Liaison

David Young- Park Ranger

The Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association Board of Directors meets monthly at the Refuge Visitor Center at 3121 Visitor Center Road, Decatur, AL.  All members of this Friends Group are welcome to attend Board meetings.

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