The Wolf River is a complex ecosystem containing extensive bottomland forest wetlands typical of the region. Bald Cypress and Black Gum trees are common. The river is 86 miles long and represents an excellent example of the once vast floodplain forest ecosystem of the Mississippi River.
Eighty percent of the original 24 million acres of forested wetlands in the Mississippi River alluvial floodplain have been cleared or drained. The William B. Clark Conservation Area contains 427 acres of bottomland hardwood forest in the Wolf River floodplain.
Why TNC Selected This Site
The preserve’s forest community has developed in response to many years of natural flooding and the absence of timber harvesting. This region of the Wolf River represents an exceptionally diverse ecosystem that contains important habitat for birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. In addition to providing habitat for many species, the William B. Clark Conservation Area serves as an important area for improving water quality, recycling nutrients and moderating flood peaks of the Wolf River during periods of extensive rainfall.
What TNC Has Done
The heart of the preserve was donated to The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee in 1993 by Mr. William "Buck" Clark Jr. in honor of his father. Since 1993, The Nature Conservancy has acquired other areas in the Wolf River watershed. In the spring of 2001, a boardwalk that runs for a third of a mile was completed along the river.