Resource Management

Restoration 512x219

The current management priority of the Refuge is to provide spring and fall migration habitat for migratory waterfowl, and to provide breeding habitat for waterfowl and other waterbirds.  Habitat management would also benefit raports, migratory landbirds, and shorebirds.

To help plants and wildlife, refuge staff uses a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plant and wildlife values. Refuge staff carefully considers any management techniques and employ them in varying degrees according to the situation. 

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.   Prescribed burning, mowing, experimental bio-control insect releases, and seeding are also some of the techniques used to help native plants recover on national wildlife refuges.  On Kootenai NWR, common problem weeds include Canada thistle, spotted knapweed, yellow toadflax, hound's -tounge, common mullein, and common tansy.  No invasive animals are known to exist on the refuge.  An Integrated Pest Management approach is used to control and eradicate invasive and non-desireable plants.  Mechanical, chemical, and biological control methods, and sometimes prescribed burns, are used.  The Refuge also monitors for new invasive species.  For example, Eurasion milfoill has been found in the Kootenai River so, since water is pumped from the river to fill more than half of the impoundments, early detection and control will be critical. 

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

Public involvement and input are important to us and to the planning process, and we hope you will take an active interest in the process, individually and as a community.