Jamestown Wildlife Area Restoration and Expansion Project Underway
JAMESTOWN, Kan. - Partners gathered on September 19th for a dedication and greenwing event on the Jamestown Wildlife Area. One of 12 expansive wetlands deeded by the U.S. Congress to the State of Kansas in 1859, Jamestown WA was once a waterfowl migration cornerstone made of fresh and saltwater marshes, riparian areas, and native grasslands of the Lower Republican River Basin.
Greenwings, Ducks Unlimited members under 18, had the opportunity to band Canada Geese under the supervision of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks personelle. Following the banding, speakers representing a variety of partners discussed the importance of the project and the area.
As with many wetlands across North America, Jamestown wetlands were deeded to settlers and drained for other land uses resulting in the loss of many thousands of acres of important wildlife habitats. Today, conservation organizaitons and agencies striving to restore and protect these crucial wildlife habitats are celebrating great strides in the Jamestown Wetland Project.
Dedication speakers included Kansas Greenwing Chair Jane Irvine, Asst. Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Keith Sexton, Past Chair of the Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams Dennis Haag, Playa Lakes Joint Venture Conservation Policy Director Barth Crouch, Pheasants Forever Field Representative Jordan Martincich, Executive Director of CloudCorp Kirk Lowell, Representative Elaine Bowers, Kansas House District 107, and Mayor Judy Hill of Jamestown.
The overall goals of the project are to expand the present day Jamestown WA from 4,620 acres to as much as 7,285 acres, thus creating a 13-mile wetland habitat corridor. Additionally, 3,500 acres will have wetlands and grasslands restored to habitat representing the pre-settlement landscape in 1859. To date, our conservation partnership has accomplished 35% of these land acquisition and restoration goals.
Partners on the project include Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, North American Wetland Conservation Council, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, Pheasants Forever, Westar Energy, Kansas Wildlife Federation, CloudCorp, Cloud County Board of Commissioners, City of Jamestown, Cloud County Convention and Tourism, Jewell County Board of Commissioners, Republic County Board of Commissioners, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and over 30 private individuals.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres important to waterfowl each year.