Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are enhancing 263 acres of moist soil wetlands on Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge. Cross Creeks is four miles east of Dover, in Stewart County, Tennessee. Funding comes from the Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Fund, a small North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant and match provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
Enhancement work on Cross Creeks NWR includes improvements on three different impoundments and will increase wetland habitat in an area important for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. The USFWS applied herbicide to 120 acres of wetland habitat to control undesirable vegetation. Additional improvements include the installation of a new water-control structure in one impoundment and the addition of a portable re-lift pump to be used on two different shallow water impoundments. Currently, USFWS staff is unable to draw down the water to appropriate levels to grow moist soil plants in three impoundments on the refuge. With the new pump and water-control structure, the USFWS can draw down and flood 263 acres of shallow-water wetland habitat. Cross Creeks NWR is an important refuge for migratory waterfowl in middle Tennessee and the Mississippi Flyway.
The same NAWCA small grant will support improvements on the Bean Switch Refuge. TWRA acquired 52 acres of scrub shrub wetland referred to as the Adams Tract. The area will be added to the Bean Switch Refuge, permanently protecting an important piece of forested wetland habitat and allowing public access to the area.