Wildlife refuge to be renamed for Dale Bumpers


LITTLE ROCK — The White River National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Arkansas will be renamed Friday in honor of former Arkansas Gov. and U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The refuge will be renamed the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge in a ceremony set for 3:30 p.m. Friday at its visitor center in St. Charles. Bumpers, who served as governor from 1971-75 and as a U.S. senator from 1975-99, is scheduled to attend with his wife Betty and other family members.

Also scheduled to attend are U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and the agency’s southeast regional director, Cindy Dohner.

The refuge is being renamed to honor Bumpers for his many accomplishments as a senator for the refuge and for the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, said Connie Dickard, spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service. She said those accomplishments include sponsoring legislation in 1993 that expanded the Cache River refuge.

“He actually was able to do a very creative land swap that ended up adding 80 river miles connecting the White River to the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge,” Dickard said. “That was one of the many things he did towards the conservation of these two refuges.”