Several habitat restoration and enhancement projects have been completed or are currently under way on the Desert Unit of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in eastern Washington. Ducks Unlimited is working with several partners on these projects, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Washington Migratory Bird Stamp and Artwork Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and US Bureau of Reclamation.
On the Winchester Reserve and Winchester Regulated Access Area (RAA), approximately 123 acres of wetlands were recently enhanced via excavation of three new swales, which improved water delivery to the project area. The new water-delivery network goes through the Winchester Reserve and is routed into the Winchester RAA, a high-quality public hunting area, which had previously received insufficient water deliveries.
Another 50 acres of marsh were restored in eight large wetland basins on the Winchester Wetlands. Sediment removed from the wetland basins was spread over approximately 48 acres of surrounding uplands, which will be restored to native shrub-steppe habitat. Invasive Russian olive trees will be removed from a 96-acre wetland area adjacent to the Winchester Wetlands. An excavator will be used to remove the largest trees, and ground crews will remove smaller diameter trees and saplings.
Approximately 64 acres of wetlands and two acres of adjacent uplands were enhanced on Frenchman RAA, one of the WDFW’s most intensively managed wetland systems and popular hunting areas. Improvements include installation of new water-control infrastructure and excavation of a swale that will create a new flow-through area that will remain ice-free in winter, benefiting both waterfowl and waterfowl hunters.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved almost 15 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.