What We Do

Bottomland hardwood forest protection and restoration is the primary management activity on the Refuge. Over 80% of bottomland hardwood forests have been destroyed nationally and the rest are fragmented and relatively small.  In addition human manipulation of water sources has changed the natural flooding that is necessary to sustain healthy floodplain forests. The annual floods are important for supplying nutrients to flood-plain forests, recharging forested wetlands and supporting growth of plants adapted to this habitat. Bottomland forest restoration includes tree or nut (seed) planting, restoration of forested wetlands, and modification of types of trees, shrubs and the vegetation in the understory.  

Management and Conservation

Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge has a long term partnership with the Conservation Fund to restore bottomland hardwood forests. Beginning in 2008, the Marais des Cygnes restoration project was successfully completed in two phases. The first phase, which consisted of several parcels totaling 776 acres, was planted in 2008. The second phase of the restoration began in 2017, and planting was completed in 2018, totaling 669 additional acres, for a project total of 1,445 acres. This effort was designed to decrease the effects of climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
by using trees to store carbon, restore bottomland hardwood forests and wetland ecosystems, and create long-term community benefits in the form of hunting, fishing, wildlife photography, wildlife observation, environmental education, and interpretation.

Laws and Regulations

Certain regulations are necessary for the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat, and for the safety of visitors. Observance of these rules will protect the species and habitats that visitors come to see. The Refuge Manager reserves the right to close all or part of the Refuge to hunting and/or public access at any time. The Refuge is also subject to Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.