Ducks Unlimited (DU) is involved in a 3,824-acre, multi-phase central Kansas project at Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area (CBWA) and the Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve (CBP). DU will reduce invasive plants and install large water control structures to help manage habitat. DU purchased and will restore 320 acres that border the CBP on two sides and the CBWA on another.
The CBWA and CBP are crucial stopping points for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds during spring and fall migrations. An estimated 45 percent of the North American shorebird population stops here during the spring migration.
The 19,857-acre CBWA is owned by Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KWPT) and was slowly acquired throughout the 1940’s-1950’s. Cheyenne Bottoms is located within a natural geological depression about 60 miles north of the Arkansas River. After acquiring the land, KWPT built canals and dams to supplement with water from the Arkansas River and Wet Walnut Creek.
The nearly 8,000-acre CBP is owned by The Nature Conservancy and is managed for the millions of migratory birds that utilize this area every year. Their goal at Cheyenne Bottoms is to protect waterfowl and shorebirds alike by restoring and protecting the natural marshes, mud flats and adjoining grasslands. Most of this land lies adjacent to the KDWPT property, and together, the two groups manage the large complex along with several private landowners that make up the overall Cheyenne Bottoms complex.
There is public access on this WA, but you must obtain a day permit for hunting by logging onto I-Sportsman to register. However, pools 1, 2 and 5 are closed to all activities. The Nature Conservancy Preserve is closed to hunting but is open to the public for all other types of activities. The 320 acres DU purchased is open to hunting as well.
DU and partners have started this wetland restoration and enhancement project with help from three different North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants and matching funds.