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Role in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
grass, duck, frog and fish drawing

Private Land Restoration to Benefit
Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Map of Benton Lake NWR and surrounding watershed

The Problem...

  • Wetlands and water are degraded by salinity and selenium draining into Refuge wetlands from the Lake Creek Watershed.
  • Salinity buildup limits the value of Refuge wetlands as habitat for migratory water birds because high salt levels decrease the amount of available food and cover for birds.
  • High selenium levels in wetlands can polute the food and water consumed by birds and cause death or deformity of nestlings and juvenile birds.

The Solution...

Loon drawingThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with private landowners and other partners, works to solve this problem through voluntary changes in agricultural land use throughout the watershed. The result is habitat development and cropping systems that reduce the amount of selenium and salinity reaching the Refuge.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service directed program is important because:

  • The Service has primary interest in Benton Lake NWR.
  • The Refuge produces populations of Federal Trust Species.
  • The Service has an approved instrument, the Wildlife Extension Agreement, that enables public money, and contributed money, to be spent on private land.

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