Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Cibola NWR May Highlights
Southwest Region, May 24, 2006
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Salt Cedar removal from Cibola NWR

Photo by Bill Seese
Salt Cedar removal from Cibola NWR Photo by Bill Seese - Photo Credit: n/a

The 300 acre Hippy Burn fire area is currently in the beginning stages of restoring the site with native trees and ground cover. The Hippy Burn land area was leveled and water structures installed with funding from Wild Land Urban Interface (WUI) funds.  Currently Ducks Unlimited biologist Brandon Weime and Refuge Manager Bill Seese are assisting others with writing a grant proposal to receive funding for the restoration of this site.

Moist soil units in Unit II are currently being disced to control invasive plants and to prepare the ground for planting migratory waterfowl food. The units are being treated with herbicides to control sesbania, johnsongrass, and salt cedar. The moist soil units support a resting and feeding area for over 20,000 ducks geese, and cranes during their winter migration.

Life Science, Inc. has been contracted to provide the Fish and Wildlife Service with preliminary information required to restore the Hart Mine Marsh. The Bureau of Reclamation is interested in funding the restoration of the marsh to receive Multi Species Conservation Plan credit for improving Yuma Clapper Rail habitat and restoring 500 acres of marsh land.

Two miles of the Arnett Ditch right-of-way have been chemically treated for salt cedar. The mature salt cedar was first mechanically removed and the re-sprouts are now being chemically treated. The Arnett ditch is the primary drain ditch for the refuge farm management operations. The fresh water drain provides fresh water and habitat for native plants and animals during the growing season.

Approximately 100 acres of invasive plant species were chemically treated and mechanically removed from the Island Unit goose blind fields. Invasive plants such as johnsongrass and salt cedar have depleted the native plant species and have reduced the amount of available food for wintering waterfowl.

With the help of volunteer Walter McTeer the Habitat Management Plan draft is currently being written in the absence of a Wildlife Biologist.  Information is being gathered to put together the first comprehensive habitat management plan for Cibola NWR. The volunteer is being assisted by biological technician Joe Barnett and Refuge Manager Bill Seese. This comprehensive document is intended to provide management guidance to current and future refuge managers.

On May 19th Ducks Unlimited engineer Chris Christiansen held a pre-bid conference with prospective contractors to begin construction of the Long Pond restoration area, Crane Roost water delivery structures, and Unit II irrigation ditch repair. The selected bidder will start construction in early May and finish in late August. The total bid package will be over $500,000.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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