Resource Management

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The Swan River National Wildlife Refuge's objectives include providing for waterfowl habitat and production and to provide habitat for other migratory birds. It also provides nesting for bald eagles and a variety of other avian species. In addition, deer, elk, moose, beaver, otter, bobcat, black bear, and threatened species including grizzly bears, bull trout, and water howellia are known to inhabit the area.

When the Refuge was under private ownership, it served as a fur farm and later, as a cattle operation. Old ditches and dikes constructed during private ownership have altered the hydrology of flooding events across the Refuge. To what degree the hydrology has been altered has yet to be determined but is being explored through new light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. Future habitat management efforts will be predicated on restoration of the Refuge hydrology. Haying, grazing, and/or prescribed burning are all options for managing the Refuge’s vegetative communities to meet habitat objectives.