habitat for wildlife here on the Refuge is an active process. Refuge management
practices such as grazing, browse/grain crop production and water manipulation,
enhance species diversity by ensuring a variety of habitat types. When you
visit the Refuge, you will notice many impoundments. These impoundments
occur where playa lakes (shallow
depression wetlands, generally smaller than 30 acres) have occurred naturally,
and are currently managed to provide ponds and lakes of various sizes and
depths, to provide a mix of habitats for wading, diving and dabbling birds.
Refuge staff, in coordination with the local water users association, spend
a great deal of time making sure our water conveyance system functions as
smoothly and efficiently as possible. In order to conserve water in this
semiarid zone, open ditches have been replaced with over 10 miles of gravity-fed
pipeline. This has also provided a more efficient means of irrigating up
to 800 acres of farm fields, where crops such as oats, barley, wheat, corn
and peas are planted to provide food for a variety of migratory birds, like
ducks, geese and cranes.
ducks and cranes feed in farmfields during their fall migration.