What We Do
To help keep plant and wildlife populations healthy, Refuge staff uses a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plants and wildlife. Refuge staff carefully consider any management techniques and employ them in varying degrees according to the situation. Some techniques include the removal of unwanted vegetation, and planting of native species. Managing the topography to allow for the best flow of water through a process called "re-contouring" to allow for the best habitat for wildlife. In this process large quantities of soil fill are spread evenly throughout the unit, resulting in a fairly shallow water basin of equal depth.
Other management practices that restore or enhance wetlands include the mechanical and chemical control of cattail and common reed, two plant species that have invaded and taken over wetland communities at Quivira. For both plant species, several treatments of prescribed fire is combined with mowing and herbicide application to reduce unwanted plants. Cattle grazing also assists management by compacting soil and controlling stem regrowth.
Management and Conservation
Sand Prairie is a rare plant community found in Kansas and Nebraska. It once covered a large area south of the Great Bend region of the Arkansas River, but now exists only in isolated, small parcels. Since European settlement in the 1870s, three main land use practices have impacted Quivira's prairies: farming, grazing by cattle, and tree planting. Today, many of Quivira's prairies are suffering from heavy invasion of woody plants. Trees abound in some areas (most of which are non-native species such as Russian olive, honey locust, and Siberian elm), sometimes growing in large woodlots with no native shrubs or grass in the understory. A native shrub called sand plum often grows in thick, monotypic stands, crowding out grasses and flowering plants. Other areas of Sand Prairie have become dominated by non-native flowering plants and grasses.
After removal of unwanted woody plants, native prairie species are then planted. Prairie grasses such as little bluestem, indiangrass, and sand lovegrass are planted, along with a wide variety of native wildflowers such as blazing star, round-head lespedeza, and coreopsis. Some areas undergo several seedings and management treatments, such as prescribed fire and mechanical plant removal.
Over the years, dozens of water impoundments were constructed. Most were designed as deep water units, their configuration made them difficult to quickly raise and lower the water levels. Through a process called "re-contouring", large quantities of soil fill are spread evenly throughout the unit, resulting in a fairly shallow water basin of equal depth.
Other management practices that restore or enhance wetlands include the mechanical and chemical control of cattail and common reed, these two species have invaded and taken over large areas of wetland communities at Quivira. For both species, prescribed fire is combined with mowing and herbicide application over several treatments. Cattle grazing manages invasive plants by compacting the soil and controlling of stem growth.
Laws and Regulations
The following regulations are necessary for the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat, and for the safety of visitors. Observance of these rules will help make the Refuge a better place for visitors and the wildlife they come to enjoy. The Refuge manager reserves the right to close all or part of the Refuge to hunting and/or public access at any time. Specific regulations will be posted. The Refuge is also subject to Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.