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Wildlife & Habitat Management

Spillway ReflectionThis interesting perspective of the refuge's landscape is shown as a reflection in the water pouring over a spillway's stop logs. Spillways and stoplogs are used to regulate the depth of water in the refuge pool system.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for a wide variety of organisms and ecosystems. Over 200 species of birds, 26 species of fish, 22 species of reptiles and amphibians, 50 species of mammals, and 420 plant species have been recorded on the Refuge. To maintain Refuge biodiversity, management is directed at preserving, conserving, and restoring ecosystem patterns and processes.

Seney NWR completed its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) in 2009. The plan is a management guide for the Refuge for the next 15 years and beyond. 

While drafting the Refuge’s CCP (2009), the planning team developed goals and objectives for three management alternatives at Seney NWR. 

The alternatives were: 

Alternative 1: Current Management Direction of Opportunistic Conservation, Restoration, and Preservation (No Action);

Alternative 2: Management Gradient of Conservation Emphasis (Unit 1), to Conservation/ Restoration Emphasis (Unit 2), to Restoration/Preservation Emphasis (Unit 3); to Wilderness Preservation (Unit 4);

Alternative 3: Management to Emphasize Historic Patterns and Processes through Restoration and Wilderness Preservation (Unit 4).

The preferred alternative was Alternative 2, the Habitat Management Gradient, and this forms the basis for the Seney NWR CCP and future management actions. The following goals were then organized into the broad categories of wildlife, habitat, and people. See the CCP (see page 59) for more information.

The plan identified three broad goals to guide management: 

  1. Wildlife – Preserve, conserve, and (where and when appropriate) restore the diversity of wildlife native to the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan; with an emphasis on regional conservation priority species
  2. Habitat – Conserve the range of habitat conditions now found within the Refuge and (where and when possible) restore pre-European conditions once characteristic of the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  3. People – Provide visitors and the community with opportunities to experience quality, wildlife dependent activities and to understand and appreciate the rich mosaic of wildlife and habitats found with the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Primary Management Activities Include:
  • Prescribed Burning and Wildfire Management
  • Management and Restoration of Forests
  • Management and Restoration of Wetlands
  • Management of Wetland Pools
  • Invasive Species Control
  • Biological Inventory and Monitoring
  • Encouragement and Research Support
  • Maintenance of Refuge Infrastructure (including roads, dikes, buildings, etc.)
  • Provide opportunities for the public to experience and appreciate the Wonder of Nature

The following table lists changes to different habitat types based on the CCP of 2009. 

Habitat Type  

Current Management Direction (Acres)  

Future Goal  

Change  

Acres  

% 

Acres 

% 

Scrub-Shrub

28,954

25,534

27

-3,551

-12

Open Wetlands

16,616

20,464

22

3,848

23

Mixed Forest – Uplands

11,396

11,396

12

0

0

Coniferous Forest – Uplands

8,857

8,952

9

95

1

Mixed Forest – Lowlands

8,221

8,221

9

0

0

Coniferous Forest – Lowlands

7,825

7,825

8

0

0

Open Water (Pools, Rivers, etc.)

5,104

4,676

5

-428

-8

Deciduous Forest – Uplands

4,372

4,600

5

232

5

Deciduous Forest – Lowlands

2,515

2,515

3

0

0

Upland Old Fields and Openland

1,302

979

1

-327

-25

Total  

95,162  

95,162  

 

Page Photo Credits — Spillway Reflection - Nan Gaunt/2012 Photo Contest
Last Updated: Jan 07, 2013
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