Resource Management

Resource Management

Refuge staff manage habitat to benefit wildlife. Refuge managers change water levels and mow and disk fields to benefit migrating waterfowl and shorebirds in the spring and fall and nesting marsh and water birds in the summer.

Moist soil plants such as smartweed, rice cutgrass, and wild millet grow during the summer months and then marsh units are flooded in the fall where waterfowl feed on the moist soil plant seeds.

Refuge personnel conduct prescribed burns to prevent invasive and woody plant growth. The tallgrass prairies consisting of big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass have nearly vanished in the Midwest. Refuge staff members have restored some native prairie on the Loess Hills and in the wetlands.


Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information.