Resource Management

Arrowwood Prescribed Burn FWS 512X219

Grassland management is done mostly through cooperative grazing agreements, haying agreements or prescribed burning. The focus of management operations is keeping the grassland resources in good condition for ground nesting birds with emphasis on waterfowl.

Refuge staff provide for the needs of wildlife primarily by managing the habitat available on the refuge.  Staff use a variety of management techniques to maintain or enhance grassland and wetland habitats that benefit wildlife.  Refuge staff carefully considers any management techniques and employ them in varying degrees according to the situation.

 Cattle on Prairie Galt 150X118

Cattle grazing on Arrowwood Refuge for grassland management.


Water levels are carefully monitored and controlled to foster desired plant growth.  Water levels are raised and lowered to provide edge, shallow water for feeding, mudflats to germinate seeds of annual seed producing plants and provide feeding habitat for shorebirds.  Deeper water levels provide habitat for important submergent plants such as sago pondweed that provides structure for invertebrates and fish and seeds and tubers for waterfowl.  Prescribed burning, haying, grazing, biological control with insect releases, and seeding are also some of the techniques used to help native plants thrive and provide cover and food for wildlife.

 Flea Beetles on spurge Jewett 150X118

ApthoniaFlea Beetles feeding on Leafy Spurge.


Standardized vegetation surveys are conducted annually on specified units to monitor habitat changes.  The refuge vegetation was mapped during 2011-13, so we have a very good GIS vegetation map for baseline data.   Other wildlife use surveys are completed annually on the refuge to monitor trends in use.  


Trapping Occurs on this Refuge.

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations.

Trapping on National Wildlife Refuges