Ducks Unlimited and its partner the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) have restored 90 acres of wetlands on McPherson Valley Wetlands Wildlife Area (WA) in McPherson County, Kansas. Historically the wetlands were part of a large depression that covered the region and provided rich waterfowl habitat. Over time, this landscape was modified through land leveling and ditching to enhance cropping potential.
With funding from a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant, DU’s engineering team designed the restorations so the wetlands on the KDWPT property hold water but do not impact neighboring private lands. Crews installed levees and water-control structures to improve water management capabilities. Approximately 40 acres of uplands surrounding the restored wetlands have been planted to native warm season grasses. Future restorations include installing pumping capabilities to bring water into the wetlands from an irrigation well.
"With our partners we are restoring this historical wetland basin one tract at a time," said Matt Hough, DU manager of conservation programs in Kansas.
McPherson Valley Wetlands WA is in the middle of the central flyway corridor and provides significant migration habitat for waterfowl traveling between the Gulf Coast and the Prairie Pothole Region. The wetlands on McPherson Valley Wetlands WA contribute to a landscape that includes Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms WA and supports large concentrations of birds in the spring.
"It is important for waterfowl to have healthy and abundant resources in this region of Kansas because they will have better success breeding if they are well fed during their migration," said Hough.
McPherson WA is open to the public for hunting and other recreation. Visit the KDWPT site for more information.