The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages Glacial Ridge Refuge’s habitats to support wildlife. Much of this work involves returning wetlands, grasslands, and woodlands to their natural states. Once restored, the habitats are maintained through prescribed burning and mowing. Prior to the Service owning many of the tracts, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and The Nature Conservancy restored drained wetlands and replanted the landscape with native prairie grasses and forbs.
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Sandhill cranes are known for their graceful, energetic dancing and unique loud, rolling trumpeting sound. These cranes tend to nest in isolated wetlands, marshes, bogs, wet meadows, prairies, and other moist habitats, preferring those with shallow standing water. While hiking through Glacial Ridge NWR, it is common to hear their unique call up to 2.5 miles away as they fly overhead.