Resource Management


Wherever we live - in the city or the country - Americans benefit from conservation. Natural systems like wetlands, forests and prairies help provide clean water, clean air and are the source of the food we eat. Managing and conserving these systems benefits people as well as the wildlife that lives there.

Habitat loss is one of the major reasons for the decline in many wetland and grassland dependent species. Because healthy habitats can’t exist without periodic disturbance, and due to the effects of past human manipulation, refuge lands need to be managed to improve or maintain habitat conditions. Some of the management techniques we use on the refuge could include: prescribed fire, grassland restoration, wetland restoration, woody plant control and invasive species control. By using these activities, the refuge is able to provide quality habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species. 

Learn more about how we are working to restore Mannkiki Marsh at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge and provide natural foods for wildlife at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge


Establishing the refuge and conservation area formally recognized decades of work with conservation partners. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to work with the State of Illinois, conservation organizations, local communities, and other stakeholders to restore wetland, oak savanna, and grassland habitats on public and private lands. Through the conservation area approach, we will acquire land or easements from willing sellers as funds allow, as part of the broader, community and partner-based conservation effort.

Remove Invasive Plants

Non-native plants, such as buckthorn, brome grass, and purple loosestrife compete with native plants for sunlight and space. They often lack natural population controls that native plants have developed over time. Invasive plants crowd out more desirable species. As lands are acquired, we will work to reduce non-native plants and replace them with plants that were historically found in the Kankakee Basin. Tools may include: manual removal (by staff, contractors, or volunteers), prescribed fire, biological control, chemical control, and other techniques. 

Work with Private Landowners

The Service can provide technical expertise and funding to help interested landowners improve and protect wildlife habitat on their lands. More than 90% of the land in the Midwest is privately owned, and wildlife depend on these lands for food, shelter, nesting, and migration. The Service can help landowners create a conservation legacy on their own lands. See the Partners for Fish & Wildlife web page for more information.