Miller's Pond WPA, just south of Shickley, NE, has a tile drain that drains the wetland during high rain events. The tile drain ensures that neighboring landowners, who own wetland area around Miller's Pond, don't hold water on their fields. A deep road ditch, which leads to the tile drain, aided in draining the wetland. In addition, fill and sediment had settled in the wetland, leading to an increase in invasive species and decreasing annual moist-soil plants important for migratory waterbirds and resident wildlife. The tile drain can't be removed, however the Service could complete restoration activities to ensure migratory waterbird habitat during spring and fall migration.
Miller's Pond was partially restored in December 2012 in conjunction with a pit fill on private lands. Approximately 31,597 cubic yards of soil material was removed from the wetland. The material was used to fill the road ditch and an abandoned irrigation reuse pit on private lands. As a part of the restoration, the Service worked with the Fillmore County Roads Department to fill the road ditch with excavated sediments from the wetland. The work resulted in water ponding across the entire hydric soil footprint owned by the Service.
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Prescribed burning is used to remove old vegetative growth, release nutrients back to the soil, decrease woody and other invasive and undesirable plant species, increase warm season grasses and forbs, and reduce the amount of organic matter (litter) on the soil surface.