To provide the widest variety of quality wetland habitat for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, Refuge staff manage water levels to maintain everything from wet soils to deep water conditions. This encourages growth of nutritious plants and other organisms and helps prevent cattails from over-growing the marshes.
Historically, the natural combination of wildfire and bison grazing maintained the grasslands in this area. Today, Refuge staff use a combination of haying, grazing, mowing, prescribed burning, spraying, and biological agents to control noxious weeds and prevent the invasion of grasslands by shrubs.
In addition, some areas of the Refuge that were farmed prior to Refuge establishment are being restored back to grasslands. The restoration process begins by farming these areas again for several years. Farming helps eliminate noxious weeds, reconditions the soil, and provides temporary food for wildlife. Eventually, grasses are re-established on the land.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife law and treaties. Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activities.