Phase 1 of Washington’s Revere WA project complete, Phase 2 underway

© Mike Finch, WDFW

The Revere Wildlife Area encompasses 2,291 acres in northwest Whitman County in Washington State. It is managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to provide protection of fish and wildlife and opportunities for recreation. Revere consists of Palouse grassland, shrub-steppe and scabland terrain, with springs and wetlands in the Rock Creek drainage. It supports mule deer, coyotes, badgers, porcupines, bats, various reptiles and amphibians, several species of raptors, waterfowl, marsh birds and upland game birds including pheasants and quail.

WDFW and DU are performing habitat management and enhancements to three wetlands and their surrounding uplands. Nearly 18 years ago, DU worked with WDFW to install a water-control structure at the outlet of the largest of the spring-fed wetlands. The structure helps maintain water levels in a nearly 40-acre marsh and riparian complex. Consistent shallow water resulted in lots of bulrush and cattail in the marsh with little open water or vegetation.

To diversify habitats, DU and WDFW accomplished Phase 1 in November 2020, and are in the midst of Phase 2. The Washington State Duck Stamp Program provided funding for Phase 1, contracting two bulldozers and an excavator to scrape approximately 14 acres of tall emergent vegetation down to the soil.

Several additional acres of bulrush and cattail were mowed by WDFW, successfully augmenting habitats in this wetland. The areas scraped bare are covered with a carpet of native wetland species, such as water plantain and spike rushes, and are seeing increased use by waterfowl, marsh birds, raptors, frogs and salamanders and other wildlife.

WDFW and DU were recently awarded additional funding through the Washington State Duck Stamp Program for Phase 2. WDFW will perform noxious weed control and upland nesting habitat restoration adjacent to the wetland. DU will provide feasibility and engineering design for excavating deeper areas of open water in all three wetlands. Providing areas of that remain open water longer into the dry season will help mitigate for the expected impacts of climate change, as summers are predicted to become longer, hotter and drier in an already arid environment.

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 more than 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.