The J. Clark Salyer Wetland Management District was formed to manage Waterfowl Production Areas. Established to protect and restore waterfowl habitat, nearly 95 percent of waterfowl production areas in the United States are located in the Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and Iowa.
Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its lands and waters. All activities on those acres are reviewed for compatibility with this statutory purpose. Waterfowl Production Areas protect waterfowl habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife.
J. Clark Salyer Wetland Management District was named after John Clark Salyer II, the former Chief of the Division of Wildlife Refuges for the Bureau of Biological Survey from 1934 to 1961. Salyer is known as the "Father of the National Wildlife Refuge System." Under his direction, the Refuge System rose in acreage from 1.5 million acres in the mid-1930's to nearly 29 million acres upon his retirement.