White River National Wildlife Refuge, Arkansas. Photo: ruffdiesel via Flickr. The White River National Wildlife Refuge is a 160,000 acre wildlife refuge located in Desha, Monroe, Phillips, and Arkansas counties. The refuge is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge lies in the floodplain of the White River near where it meets the Mississippi River, and is one of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi River Valley.