With the award of a $100,000 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant, Ducks Unlimited and partners will compete work on the Muddy Creek wetland complex in Carbon County, Wyoming. Partners worked for 30 years on this 862-acre complex that is the largest constructed wetland project in the state, creating quality wetlands for waterfowl and other wildlife.
"These small NAWCA grants can have a big impact on projects like this one," said Thomas Peterson, DU biologist in Wyoming. "It can be the catalyst to bring partners together and fund the final construction."
The NAWCA grant and matching contributions are funding construction of structures and enhancements that reestablish historic water flows through the wetlands, remove sediment from the stream and control stands of cattails in the wetlands. There are nine tracts of wetland habitat where managers will have a reliable water source and improved water management capabilities. Seasonal manipulation of water levels is necessary to maintain productive wetland habitats with seed producing plants and invertebrate communities beneficial to waterfowl and the more than 100 other bird species in the area.
From the beginning, the Little Snake River Conservation District (LSRCD) worked to connect the economic concerns of their constituents with ecological needs of fish and wildlife. LSRCD managed the relationships between public and private landowners and is responsible for design, permitting and construction of the work on Muddy Creek Wetlands. Ducks Unlimited and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) staff are providing technical assistance, additional survey and design, contracting and construction management.
Matching contributions came from LSRCD, Wyoming Natural Resource Trust Fund, Wyoming Water Development Commission, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust and DU. The FWS Partners for Wildlife program also contributed funds. Six of the nine tracts are open to the public for hunting, and other recreation.