Refuge’s McGregor District office moving to Prairie du Chien

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Concerns with mud, falling rocks and moisture have prompted the McGregor District office of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge to move from its current location along Highway 18, between Marquette and McGregor, to Prairie du Chien, effective March 30. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The McGregor District office of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is moving from its current location along Highway 18, between Marquette and McGregor, to Prairie du Chien, effective March 30.

“The office we have now, there are safety concerns from mud and rocks,” said McGregor District Manager Rich King, noting that some falling rocks have damaged vehicles. “There are also mold and moisture concerns.”

King said the Refuge has sought a new home for the district office for some time.

“We’ve been looking for land next to the flood plain, but not in the flood plain,” he said.

The office’s new location at 470 Cliff Haven Rd., near Cabela’s, will be leased, until land for a more permanent facility can be purchased. King said land locations in both Iowa and Wisconsin have been considered.

The district office has been located at 401 Business Highway 18N since the 1980s. Once staff relocate, King said a trailer currently used on the McGregor site will be put up for sale. The office will be torn down. King said he has plans to contact Habitat for Humanity about taking the structure down and recycling the material to be used for something else. 

Refuge use of the site will not completely cease, though, said King. The Prairie du Chien location does not have a maintenance shop, so staff will continue to use the McGregor shop.

Despite the change in location, King said the district name will not change.

“The Refuge is 90 years old, so offices don’t last forever,” he said, adding that, in the past, the district office was located in Lansing, Cassville and Prairie du Chien. “It will just take an adjustment.”

The Refuge plans to hold an open house later this spring after the move is complete. For additional information about the move or the Refuge, please contact King at (563) 873-3423 or richard_king@fws.gov. King said, once the office moves, it will get a Wisconsin phone number, but will continue to maintain the 873 number for awhile.

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