The Lostwood District is part of the Northern Coteau region which was formed by debris piled in front of the advance of the most recent glaciers to visit North Dakota. As the glaciers retreated, the rubble was left to form the gentle rolling hills you see today. Coteau is a French word meaning "little hill". Buried in that rubble were large chunks of ice that were sheared off glaciers. As that ice melted, depressions were formed. Those depressions are the wetlands you see spread across the coteau region; over 150 per square mile. The Northern Coteau is also where you can find some of the largest, contiguous tracts of native northern mixed grass prairie in the United States.
Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs)
Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) are lands that were purchased and are managed to provide high quality wetlands and nesting cover for waterfowl and many other species of wildlife. All WPAs are open for the public to enjoy. Activties include hunting, birdwatching, hiking, and photography. Hunting and trapping are permitted in accordance with North Dakota Game and Fish Department regulations.
Wetland and Grassland Easements
Wetland and grassland easements protect wetland basins and surface areas on private land. Landowners retain ownership of the land and are subject to manage the land under the written contract provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The easements are perpetual and stay with the land when ownership changes. Through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife Program, Service staff work with landowners to improve productivity of these wetlands by building nesting structures, improving nesting cover, and other efforts.
Private lands with easements to manage wildlife and water use are called easement refuges. Easement refuges were first established during the Dust Bowl ear of the 1930's. These lands are often farmed or grazed, but are usually closed to hunting. Easement refuges provide stable water areas and safe havens for migrating waterfowl.