Resource Management

Our management goals are to acquire and protect quality habitat suitable for nesting migratory birds, local wildlife, and native plant species. The district staff perform a variety of management techniques to enhance wildlife and plant communities.  

Prescribed Burning:
Prescribed burning is primarily used to stop the spread of woody vegetation that has increased over the years without the aid of fire suppression. Prescribed fire also helps control the spread of non-native plant species. These controlled burns help wildlife and their habitat by stimulating prairie plant growth and increasing soil nutrients.
Livestock Grazing Systems: 
The livestock rotational grazing system replicated the historic effects of bison. This intensive, short duration system is directed primarily at reducing the exotic cool season, sod-forming grasses (e.g. Smooth bromegrass and Kentucky bluegrass) while increasing the vigor of native grasses.
As bison herds diminished the composition of grassland plants and animal species began to change dramatically, cattle have since replaced bison and they stimulate native grasses. Over time, livestock grazing is slowly restoring and sustaining native prairie grassland species and the unique mix of animals that rely on this habitat.

Noxious Weed Control:
The spread of noxious weeds has been difficult and expensive for district managers. Leafy Spurge is perhaps the most difficult of all exotic plants to control on the district. Some of the noxious weeds on the district require treatment beyond fire and grazing to control. Current management techniques include introducing biological controls such as spurge-eating flea beetles, limited herbicide application with ATV's and backpack sprayers, and mowing tracts of land to eliminate new seed bases from forming in the area.