U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE rightcorner.GIF (907 bytes)
 Mountain-Prairie Region  Partners for Fish & Wildlife
Wildlife Extension Agreements

Successful private lands restoration depends on the landowner and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreeing on mutual goals that will benefit wildlife and the landowner's operationLandowners can grant limited wildlife management on their land to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Wildlife Extension Agreements. Management activities include wetland and riparian restoration, predator management, nest structure placement, livestock fencing, grazing management plan development, and native grass seeding.

What happens to the wetland restorations after the Wildlife Extension Agreements expire?

The North Dakota Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has worked in cooperation with over 3,500 landowners in every county of North Dakota since 1987. One of our primary, overriding philosophies is to provide one-time assistance on a particular habitat project, with the expectation that landowners will integrate these habitat improvements into their agriculture operation and maintain the project without further Partners for Fish and Wildlife assistance in the future.

As a routine follow-up, we talked to 17 landowners in Kidder and Stutsman Counties who had restored wetlands on Conservation Reserve Program lands under 10-year Wildlife Extension Agreements that have recently expired. Our findings on how many weland restorations remain intact are very encouraging:

  • 82% of the landowners have not removed plugs after the Wildlife Extension Agreements expired; 12% of the landowners we spoke with had removed some plugs but left others. Only 6% reported removing all ditch plugs.
  • 67% of the landowers had not removed plugs because the tract was under Conservation Reserve Program contract; 40% stated that they like seeing wildlife using the wetland(s).
  • 60% of the landowners wanted additional information on Fish and Wildlife Service wetland easements; 90% wanted additional information on the Wetland Reserve Program.
  • 58% said they would not drain other wetlands on their farm if laws such as Swampbuster did not prohibit it; 49% of the landowners said they they would drain other wetlands.

We will contact more landowners with expired wetland restoration agreements in the near future and hope to have updated results this spring. We expect that the numbers will change significantly, but hope that they will remain encouraging.