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Resource Management

deer in farm field

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is managed with four broad objectives: wildlife management, agriculture, recreation, and industry. The primary wildlife management objective is to satisfy the food and resting needs of wintering Canada geese. This objective is coordinated with the agriculture objective through cooperative farming.

Approximately 4,000 acres of cropland are managed with the help of local farmers. The farmers sharecrop the Refuge land, harvesting a percentage of the crops and leaving the rest in the field for wildlife. Hay cutting and cattle grazing are also permitted on approximately 2,000 acres. Moist soil wetlands are also maintained to create shallow feeding areas for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. Upland habitat is maintained using fire and timber management. Prescribed fire is very carefully used to remove vegetation that often is too dense and to assist with the removal of invasive plant species. Timber stand thinning may also occur.
Last Updated: Feb 29, 2012
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