Established to protect bottomland hardwood forest habitat and wildlife resources in 1997, Clark River National Wildlife Refuge became the only National Wildlife Refuge solely within Kentucky. Soon after the refuge was established, volunteers from the community started helping work towards the mission of the refuge, an din 1999 the Friends of Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge was established. The Friends assist with various activities such as the establishment and restoration of wildlife habitat, environmental education and interpretation programs, special events, and increasing wildlife recreation opportunities. In addition, the Friends manage grants to help support and fund these various activities, as well as reach out to and visit congressmen to speak in support of the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge. The Friends of Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge is a Federal 501(c)(3) public charity group. Contributions to the Friends are tax deductible.