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Land Management Research and Demonstation Area

The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is one of 14 dedicated Land Management Research and Demonstration Areas where new habitat management techniques and approaches are developed, implemented and showcased.

Land Management Research and Demonstration Areas (Demonstration Areas) are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts throughout the country.  They serve as institutions of investigation, innovation and instruction in wildlife and habitat management.

Founded on a Century of Experience
The Service is uniquely qualified to demonstrate land management techniques that provide healthy, sustainable habitats for fish, wildlife, and plants. Its 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System provides an unequaled backdrop for study and development of new techniques. With its “wildlife first” emphasis, the System is the only Federal network of lands dedicated to wildlife conservation and habitat management. Habitat management research is a tradition on national wildlife refuges. Since the establishment of Pelican Island Refuge in 1903, refuges have continually tested and refined management techniques.  Methods such as wetland restoration, reforestation, and prescribed fire have been used and improved on refuges for more than 100 years.

Breaking New Ground
At each of the 14 Demonstration Areas, a specialized biologist oversees the research, development, and testing of new management techniques. Through wildlife inventories and habitat monitoring, the site becomes a repository of data and information about its featured habitat or management issues. Refuges with similar habitats or issues serve as test sites for identifying site-specific variables that may affect new methods.

Pooling Resources
Partnerships are a key element of Demonstration Areas. Site biologists work closely with regional biologists and those at other refuges, Federal and state agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations to further the cause of sound wildlife management. Researchers from other organizations conduct studies on the refuge, in coordination with on-going research into refuge needs. Graduate students participate in cutting-edge work. By bringing together researchers with varied backgrounds, skills and perspectives, Demonstration Areas provide fertile ground for novel ideas and approaches.
Last Updated: Jan 04, 2012
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