WATER MANAGEMENT UPDATES

BRR Sentinel 062017

When planning a visit to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, it is always good to check on the water levels and road conditions around our Auto Loop. 


UPDATE 9/18/2017 - 

Water

Bear River MBR water update (YouTube) Note the wind was strong and we tried to remove it in the video. 

At Bear River Migratory Bird refuge, we manage wetlands for the benefit of a suite of waterbirds and shorebirds that depend on a variety of wetland habitats for all or part of their annual life cycle. So what are wetlands? The textbook definition of wetlands is that they are lands transitional between terrestrial habitats such as forests and grasslands that do not have water on the ground surface and aquatic.

Habitats such as lakes and rivers which typically have surface water year round.  Water is the driving force that creates wetlands and the characteristic plant communities that inhabit wetlands.   However, fluctuating water levels both seasonally and long-term is a characteristic of all natural wetlands.  In other words, wetland water levels are not static and surface water is not always present.  A cattail/bulrush marsh with a foot of water even in the hot summer months is easily recognized as a wetland.   A playa or vernal pool in the West that typically only has water for a few weeks to a few months annually in the late winter and early spring may not be as obvious as a wetland when viewed later in the year. A dry wetland may look dead but it is not.  Periodic drying helps to break down the organic material that may accumulate over time, which helps to recycle nutrients and allow for wetland plants to rejuvenate.

Bear River MBR current water levels are shown on the map.  Dark blue are water levels that are at target or full.  Light blue are water levels that are low or are being filled.  Grey are areas that are dry.  If you have any questions regarding water levels, please call 435-723-5887.