Kern National Wildlife Refuge: NWR Unit 2 Pump

Wetland water management at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge is complicated and difficult. Hot, dry summers, a limited water supply, deteriorating infrastructure and other factors all limit wetlands water management at the refuge. Ducks Unlimited has been working with refuge staff for the last decade to improve habitat conditions and water management infrastructure. The Unit 2 pump project was designed to improve water management by reusing limited water supplies. Unit 1 is typically managed for wintering habitat, and water becomes limited in this unit during spring and summer. The adjacent Unit 2 is managed for moist soil habitat, and water must be removed by early spring. The Unit 2 pump now facilitates dewatering Unit 2 and reuses this water in Unit 1 during dry years to maintain spring brood rearing habitat. This project will facilitate waterfowl production and increase brood survival in Unit 1 by maintaining spring water long enough to fledge broods, as well as facilitate moist soil habitat in Unit 2. 

The Kern NWR Unit 2 pump project improved habitat in both Units 1 and 2.

The Unit 1b levee project, completed in 2005, works in conjunction with the Unit 2 pump project. Now Unit 1 has both adequate water to provide tricolored blackbird habitat and maintain semipermanent marsh for waterfowl. In addition, the western portion of Unit 1 can be managed as a moist soil unit for waterfowl, providing optimal foraging conditions for them and improving hunting conditions in the unit.