DU to protect Hyde County property, rich with wetlands

Ducks Unlimited restored and permanently protected the 320-acre Hahn property in Hyde County, as part of DU's Revolving Land Program.

This area of Hyde County is rich with shallow, ephemeral wetlands that attract large numbers of breeding waterfowl during wet years. In fact, this area has the capacity to support over 100 breeding pairs of ducks per square mile, which puts it in the class of "the best of the best" in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR).

This landscape is particularly important to northern pintails, which have shallow wetlands in the PPR as their preferred breeding habitat. These types of wetlands are dry during many years, which is a natural occurrence and actually an important factor in maintaining productivity of these habitats. When they do "get wet," they are tremendously productive and can support large numbers of breeding waterfowl. The protection of habitat in this area will significantly benefit northern pintails and many other waterfowl species, including mallards and blue-winged teal.

DU purchased the Hahn property as part of its revolving program. DU restored several drained wetlands on the cropland part of the property. A wetland easement has been placed on that portion of the property to permanently protect all the wetlands, but the easement will allow continued farming. The other half of the Hahn property is native grassland that has never been plowed. Both a wetland and grassland easement were placed there, providing permanent protection that will prevent future landowners from draining wetlands or plowing up the important grassland habitats on this tract. Now that restoration and protection efforts are completed, DU sold the property at a public auction and will use the proceeds from the sale to implement additional conservation projects under this program.