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Wetland Management District

A male and female pintail swim across a wetland.
1 First Street SW
Kulm, ND   58456
E-mail: kulmwetlands@fws.gov
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The habitats found in Kulm Wetland Management District provide vital nesting habitat for many waterfowl species, including the northern pintail.
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Kulm Wetland Management District

Located in south-central North Dakota, Kulm Wetland Management District (WMD) was established in 1971. Located in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, Kulm WMD provides breeding, nesting, and brood rearing areas for many species of waterfowl and other migratory birds. The District currently manages 201 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) that total 45,683 acres, 3 national wildlife refuges, and 120,000 acres of wetland and grassland easements.

In many parts of Kulm WMD, the abundance of wetlands attracts waterfowl breeding pair densities of over 100 pairs per square mile. Native prairie is still well represented in the area and is home to many species of upland nesting birds. The James River meanders through the eastern portion of the District. As it leads south to the Missouri River, the James River forms a major migration corridor for numerous migrating birds.

Getting There . . .
The headquarters of Kulm WMD is in the small town of Kulm, ND. From Jamestown, North Dakota, which is located on Interstate 94, Kulm is 38 miles south on U.S. Highway 281 to Edgeley, ND. At the town of Edgeley, turn west, then south, on ND Highway 13 for 15 miles. At the junction of Highway 13 and ND Highway 56, continue south about 2/3 of a mile into Kulm. Signs with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emblem will guide you to the headquarters office.

From Aberdeen, South Dakota, travel north on U.S. Highway 281 approximately 67 miles to Edgeley, ND. From Edgeley, follow the directions above.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Wetlands dominate much of the landscape in this region. Wetlands in the southern part of the Prairie Pothole Region are extremely fertile, producing a wide variety of marsh vegetation.

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The landscape in this the area was formed by the advance and retreat of glaciers. The most recent glacier melted about 9,000-12,500 years ago, leaving a 500-foot thick deposit of glacial sediment.

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Management Activities
Management activities focus on protection and maintenance of grasslands and wetlands. Nesting quality of grasslands degenerates when they are either over-rested or over-utilized. The Kulm WMD staff applies management techniques to maintain high quality nesting habitat. Grassland management tools include seeding, grazing, prescribed burning, haying, and various forms of noxious weed control. Wetland management focuses on protection from watershed modification, draining, or filling the depressions with dirt or other debris.

Acquisition of new WPAs, grassland easements, and wetland easements is an ongoing process. Emphasis at the current time is on grassland easements, which protect large tracts of native grassland in perpetuity.

Waterfowl population management consists of improving nesting cover, enforcing migratory bird hunting regulations, and disease control. For example, waterfowl and water-related birds historically suffer die-offs from avian botulism. The District staff attempts to limit these outbreaks with an active program of surveillance and sanitation.

Kulm WMD also works with private landowners to improve migratory bird habitat through the Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Cooperative agreements are tailored to specific situations that are beneficial for the landowner and the wildlife resource.