Ducks Unlimited to bring more water to Kansas public wildlife spots

Jamestown Wildlife Area project will flood more than 400 acres

CONCORDIA, Kansas – Dec. 8, 2015 – A Ducks Unlimited project at Jamestown Wildlife Area, near Concordia, will allow another 430 acres of marsh to be flooded. Working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), Ducks Unlimited will soon raise the Gamekeeper Dam to flood the wildlife area wetlands, while installing levees and a water control structure to allow for improved wetland water level management. The almost $1 million project, funded by a North American Waterfowl Conservation (NAWCA) grant with matching dollars from DU and partners, will create more wetland habitat with food and cover for migrating waterfowl and other birds.

"Historically, much of the project area was covered with wetlands. This large project, involving numerous landowners and partners, will provide more than 400 acres of additional migration habitat to waterfowl and other migratory birds, while improving wetland habitat management capability for one of our best partners, KDWPT," said John Denton, manager of Ducks Unlimited conservation programs for Kansas and Nebraska

KDWPT is investing $530,000 in the project. Additional sponsors are The Nature Conservancy and Weststar Energy.

The NAWCA grant will fund additional work in north-central Kansas as well. The Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas has been popular with migrating waterfowl, including whooping cranes, but refuge staff expects the Kirwin Reservoir to remain low for decades.

Soon, DU and its partners will be working to bring more water to wildlife on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge. Ducks Unlimited will build an impoundment to hold water and a water control structure that will pump water and allow improved management of water levels.  

"A large wetland is being drained on the NWR, but after installation of a water control structure and a levee, it will once again function as a wetland and refuge staff will once again be able to manage water levels to provide the most benefit to wildlife," Denton said.

The NAWCA grant includes projects in Kansas and Nebraska. The "Central Flyway Migration Corridor II" proposal will conserve 5,443 acres of habitat in both states through restoration, enhancement and protection. DU and partners will bring more than $1.2 million to match the more than $816,000 in NAWCA funds.

DU and partners are completing work on earlier NAWCA grants that included 44 protection and habitat projects in both states.  The grants will protect more than 7,000 acres and restore or enhance almost 11,000 acres. Read More

In the near future, Ducks Unlimited will acquire an important property in Kansas near Cheyenne Bottoms where DU is focusing conservation efforts in the state.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/ducksunlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.