New housing and business development impacts Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

The new developments are impacting the animals in more ways than one.

Posted: Oct 31, 2017 10:03 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2017 10:54 PM

The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur is feeling the impacts of all the new business and housing developments that have come to our area in recent years.

There may not be an easy solution to some of the problems.

Park Ranger Teresa Adams said when the refuge was created in 1938 there weren't homes this close to the refuge, but with many new developments, "anytime you have that its going to have some changes made to how the wildlife react," said Adams.

Mainly, animals are being forced to be around humans more.

"They don't always recognize boundaries, so they're going to cross into private property," said Adams.

Marlyn Sykes lives in the new development right next to the refuge.

"I just don't know if there's anything we can do about that, except enjoy the animals we get to see," said Sykes.

Not everyone is being as kind to the wildlife refuge as Sykes.

Adams said the population boom means more people are treating it poorly.

"You get more people out, you get more trash. That's a big challenge," said Adams.

Decatur City Council member Charles Kirby told WAAY 31 the council is working on a solution to help clean up that trash and litter, but a big hurdle to get over will be finding the funding to do so.

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