|Private Land Restoration to Benefit
Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- 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
The 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.