About the District

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The mission of the Chase Lake Wetland Management district is to protect wetlands and surrounding grasslands for waterfowl production and other wildlife. The district was created in 1993 and manages and protects over 150,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge System lands in Stutsman and Wells counties in south central North Dakota.

The District is located in the famous “Prairie Pothole Region,” the most productive area for breeding waterfowl in North America. The district covers two physiographic regions, the Missouri Coteau on the west, and Drift Prairie on the east. These areas were formed over 10,000 years ago by retreating and melting glaciers.  

The Drift Prairie portion features gently rolling topography predominately used for intensive farming and small grain production. The Missouri Coteau features sharply rolling hills with high wetland densities, in some areas up to 100 per square mile. The Missouri Coteau land feature of the Prairie Pothole Region is especially important for waterfowl in the lower 48 states. Not only is this region important for waterfowl, hundreds of thousands of other migratory birds nest and migrate through here as well.

In addition to acquiring Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) lands, the district also protects small wetlands and native grasslands by purchasing conservation easements from landowners. The district also works with private landowners in developing and restoring valuable wildlife habitat. Technical and cost-share assistance for agricultural and wildlife projects such as grazing systems, wetland restoration and creation, no-till planting, and grass seeding is provided to private landowners.

Facts about the district

•Established in 1993

•Responsible for managing and protecting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service interests in Stutsman and Wells Counties.

•Interests include 136 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) totaling 43,344 acres.

   ◦Over 13,000 acres of native prairie and seed native grasses
   ◦11,581 acres of temporary, seasonal, semi-permanent and permanent wetlands

• Over 95,000 wetland and grassland acres are protected in the District by easements.

•Halfway Lake Easement National Wildlife Refuge covering 160 acres.

•Medicine Lake WPA, the nation's smallest WPA, is only .97 acres.

•Chase Lake WPA (3,013 acres) and Woodworth Station WPA (2,647 acres) are the two largest WPAs in the district.