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STILLWATER NWR: Connecting Refuge Wetlands isa Blast!
California-Nevada Offices , May 21, 2009
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Explosives creates a channel between two wetlands on Stillwater NWR. (photo: Carl Lunderstadt, USFWS) 
Explosives creates a channel between two wetlands on Stillwater NWR. (photo: Carl Lunderstadt, USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Navy EOD, Washoe and Douglas County Bomb Squads place explosives. (photo: Bill Henry, USFWS)
Navy EOD, Washoe and Douglas County Bomb Squads place explosives. (photo: Bill Henry, USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
New channel created between wetland units. (photo: Bill Henry, USFWS)
New channel created between wetland units. (photo: Bill Henry, USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Carl Lunderstand, Stillwater NWR
When faced with the challenge of reconnecting wetland channels in an area too wet for heavy equipment, staff at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge turned to local mining and military resources for an unconventional solution.  The refuge needed to to re-create a channel between two wetland units that had silted in.  The site is too wet for heavy equipment to operate without getting stuck, and drying the area enough to allow access for an excavator would mean de-watering hundreds of acres of valuable wildlife habitat for many months.  This option was not acceptable to Refuge Biologist Bill Henry, who contacted the Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Team at Naval Air Station Fallon for help.  With explosives purchased from a mining supplier, the Navy EOD personnel were eager to practice their skills and at the same time help maintain wetland habitat for wildlife.  On May 21, 2009, the Navy EOD Team and members of the Douglas and Washoe County Bomb Squads placed approximately 585 pounds of Dynomax Pro explosives along the 300 foot stretch of silted in channel.  After clearing the area, the explosives were detonated, completing the job in milliseconds without losing any habitat during the critical summer months.


Contact Info: Carl Lunderstadt, 775-423-5128 x235, carl_lunderstadt@fws.gov



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