Resource Management

Snow Mountains

At Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, we use an adaptive management approach to achieve habitat goals and objectives. These goals and objectives are based on the habitat requirements of priority bird species identified in the Refuge’s long-term habitat management plan.

Refuge staff use a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plant and wildlife values. Management techniques are carefully considered and employed in varying degrees according to needs.

Water levels are carefully monitored and controlled to foster desired plant growth. Sometimes, sensitive areas are closed to the public so that the land can recover more quickly. Predator control is conducted on the refuge to protect nesting birds and enhance their nesting success. Prescribed burning, mowing, and seeding are also some techniques used to help native plants recover on the refuge.

Standardized ground and aerial wildlife and vegetation surveys are conducted on refuges throughout the year to inventory populations and document habitat use. Units are evaluated by how well they met habitat and wildlife use objectives. 

Bear River Refuge staff set habitat objectives by linking ecological and physical aspects of Refuge lands with priority species requirements. Objectives concisely state habitat conditions needed for priority species. Finally, Refuge staff use ecological data, scientific literature, expert opinion, key historical Refuge data, and staff expertise to generate a list of potential management strategies for each habitat type. The most appropriate management strategy is selected each year during the annual habitat management process. The strategy selection is based on the effect of management on habitat and species of concern from the previous year, as captured through monitoring, as well as on the predicted water supply of the Bear River for the coming year.

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