Big Stone Wetland Management District was established in 1996 and includes 23 waterfowl production areas. These small parcels of wetlands and grasslands are scattered throughout a two-county area and encompass more than 4,000 total acres. Like other wetland management districts in the prairie states, the goal of the Big Stone Wetland Management District is to restore and protect enough wetland and grassland habitat to meet the needs of prairie wildlife, particularly breeding waterfowl, as well as to provide places for public recreation.
Waterfowl production areas were created by an amendment to the Federal Duck Stamp Act in 1958. Scientists realized that these small pockets of habitat were vital to breeding waterfowl. This amendment gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permission to purchase small wetlands. Your purchase of a Federal Duck Stamp provides funds to acquire, oversee and manage waterfowl production areas and easements.
Big Stone Wetland Management District covers Lincoln and Lyon counties in western Minnesota. The district purchases land from willing sellers, our staff manage these scattered waterfowl production areas, working collaboratively with private landowners who are interested in improving their land for wildlife. Our staff also protect land through the purchase of permanent conservation easements from willing landowners to protect wetlands and grasslands on private property throughout the district.
Big Stone Wetland Management District focuses on providing food, water and shelter for migratory and resident waterfowl, what biologist call, waterfowl production. Our staff work to ensure the preservation of habitat for migratory birds, threatened and endangered native species and resident wildlife. We also provide opportunities for you to hunt, fish, observe and photograph wildlife at Big Stone Wetland Management District. We also focus on increasing everyone’s understanding of and appreciation for the Northern Tallgrass Prairie ecosystem.
Big Stone Wetland Management District serves many purposes that benefit both wildlife and people. Principally, the refuge strives to maintain and restore native prairie habitat while providing optimum nesting cover for waterfowl and other grassland nesting birds.
We work collaboratively on the following:
- Strategically plan habitat needs for native waterfowl populations
- Preserve and protect native grasslands
- Provide and maintain quality upland and wetland habitat capable of supporting healthy migratory bird populations
- Assist private landowners with restoration of wildlife habitat
- Provide opportunities for quality wildlife-dependent recreation
- Engage visitors to learn about these special places through quality environmental education