FY21 saw the completion of fundraising efforts to restore Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area. A dedication ceremony was held in June to celebrate the more than $680,000 raised through private pledges and events. This achievement was more than double the original goal needed to support infrastructure repairs and habitat restoration at Cheyenne Bottoms.
"Cheyenne Bottoms has a rich history and many families have built traditions around visiting and hunting on this area. The habitat quality is important to the community and that is reflected in the support and funding we’ve been able to raise to restore the wetlands and other habitats here," said Josh Williams, DU regional director for Kansas.
Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest inland wetland in the United States and supports an estimated 350 bird species. Half of North America’s shorebirds and endangered whooping cranes visit every year. The area is recognized as internationally important to birds by the Ramsar Convention, National Audubon Society and American Bird Conservancy. Visitors to Cheyenne Bottoms provide economic benefits to the local community generating nearly $3 million annually.
"Cheyenne Bottoms is an essential stop-over for millions of birds during spring and fall migrations," said Matt Hough, DU’s manager of conservation for Kansas. "The shallow wetlands and grass provide food and shelter for birds to rest and refuel to make it to their destinations."
Ducks Unlimited in partnership with Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will replace aging infrastructure and remove cattail vegetation that has overrun the wetlands. Restoration work will repair and replace water control structures and remove silt that is clogging up pumps, ditches and filling in wetlands. This work will restore the Cheyenne Bottoms wetland habitat and support the birds and other wildlife that depend on this area for survival.
Check out this video about Cheyenne Bottoms