Kenesaw Waterfowl Production Area

in Adams County
520x222 Kenesaw - Weseman Vicinity Maps

Recent Management: The wetland has a large watershed and floods quickly after large rains. Prior to the Service purchasing the property, several attempts were made to convert the wetland to cropland. Attempts included digging pits to concentrate surface water, building dikes to concentrate water in the center of the wetland, and digging an extensive drainage ditch to divert water away from the shallow portion of the wetland. One mile of drainage ditch and a one-half mile long concentration pit existed on the property. When drainage attempts failed, the property was left idle for about 15 years, allowing tree growth to go unchecked.

The property was purchased by the Service in 1997. The Bureau of Reclamation designed, funded, and completed the restoration of Kenesaw WPA in 1999-2000. Restoration included removal of trees, filling pits, removing dikes, filling in ditches, building parking lots, reseeding the uplands, and fencing the property so the area may be grazed in future years. Periodic prescribed burning is done to keep the new tree seedlings from becoming established. By the fall of 1999, an unconfirmed sighting of whooping cranes was reported. Waterfowl use was high during the spring and fall of 2000.

The area is not pumped but generally has water present during the spring migration. Management is a challenge on this WPA because of the frequent flooding and its propensity to re-establish cottonwood trees in the flooded shallows of the wetland. The fluctuation in water levels in the past few years has stimulated germination of trees, especially cottonwood and willow. During 2008, the wetland had such high water levels that the trees remained surrounded by water; preventing us from cutting them down. An old tree belt along the south side of the property was removed several years ago. Thousands of new seedlings spring up on the newly restored grassland just north of the old tree belt. A prescribed fire was done to kill the smaller seedlings. The larger seedlings were sprayed.

Facts About Kenesaw Waterfowl Production Area

Location: 1/2 mile southeast of Kenesaw, Nebraska

Size: 231 acres: 161 acres of wetland, 70 acres as upland

GPS: N 40.606, W -98.648

PDF Map: Kenesaw WPA