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Muskrat Pool Wetland Enhancement


Since European settlement, there has been an estimated loss of roughly 55% of North America's wetlands. Although there has been a significant reduction in the loss of wetlands since the 1980's, there continues to be a dramatic loss in the functionality of the existing wetlands for wildlife due to the spread of invasive species, such as the hybrid cattail, which can create monotypic stands that choke out any open water source. Consequently, the encroachment of the many exotic species , such as phragmites, reed canarygrass, and purple loosestrife, has greatly affected the natural food sources provided by the habitat. The losses have resulted in profound negative impacts on the populations and diversity of wildlife and plant species. Creating a mosaic of plant communities in multiple successions and in differing water levels provides a large structural diversity to support a wide range of species. In order to maintain that mosaic a reliable disturbance is needed. Historically there were two main sources of disturbance on the landscape, fire and grazing. For over 25 years now, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge has used fire as a tool in attempt to enhance and restore hydrological conditions, but with increasing development of the surrounding area fire has become difficult to implement unless under near perfect meteorological conditions. To continue to be the most effective in enhancing these habitats, herbicide treatments will aid the efforts and help to become more efficient in the eradication of invasive species. Using a fixed wing aircraft will allow for greater and more even coverage over large areas that are difficult to get to. Once initially controlled, fire and grazing will be used in combination with historic hydrological conditions to mitigate the migration of these invasive species back into the wetland habitats.

Program Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program

Status Completed

Dates 08/23/2013 - 06/30/2016

Project Manager Brad Nylin

Grant Recipient Minnesota Waterfowl Association

Grant Recipient Type Non-Profit Business/Entity

Primary Funding Source(s) Outdoor Heritage Fund

Grant Amount $50,000

Expended $50,000

Statutory Reference M.L. 2016, Chp. 172, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 5(K)

Management Unit(s) Federal

Habitat(s) FGW

Activity Type(s) Restoration/Enhancement

Primary County Sherburne


Latest Indicator Number of acres enhanced

Target 700 Acres

Measurement 700 Acres

Target Summary planned acres

Measurement Summary completed acres