Camas NWR: Sand Hole Lake Project

The Camas National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is an important link in the chain of wetlands connecting the Great Basin to the Canadian Prairies, but it is plagued with water supply problems and associated habitat loss. Wetlands were once widespread across the refuge due to its historically elevated water table. However, the increased pumping of agricultural groundwater in the area has lowered both the water table and the wetland abundance. The results have been decreased duck numbers, limited migration habitat (particularly for trumpeter swans) and fewer nesting opportunities for redheads, lesser scaup, mallards and canvasbacks.

 

The Camas NWR is not only a migration area, but an important diving duck breeding area as well. 

Ducks Unlimited's solution to this problem was a project that would improve the water supply and thereby enhance wetlands. A new well, pump and water conveyance system will now allow the coordinated seasonal flooding of 360 acres of wetlands in a once productive part of the refuge to improve conditions for waterfowl migration and breeding efforts.  Initial funding for the project came from a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to DU, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Ducks Unlimited.