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The Chase Lake Prairie Project in North Dakota

GREGORY E. SIEKANIEC AND J. MICHAEL CALLOW

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chase Lake Prairie Project, Route 1,
Box 144, Woodworth, ND 58496


The Chase Lake Prairie Project (CLPP) covers 5.5 million acres of Missouri Coteau in 11 counties of south-central North Dakota. Initial 5-year phase-in of the CLPP began in a 339-square-mile core area around Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Objectives of the CLPP focus on preserving native prairie areas; protecting and enhancing soil, water, and plant resources; and increasing and/or maintaining the diversity and populations of all resident and migratory wildlife. Thirty-eight action items have been developed that will assist in reaching project goals and are primarily oriented toward on-the-ground enhancement of private and public lands in the core area. Private land actions to date include: placement of 529 nesting bales, 32 nesting culverts, and 17 wood duck boxes in area wetlands; restoration of 84 wetland basins totaling 154.5 acres, and scheduled restoration of 115 basins totaling 223.5 acres; participation in the egg salvage program by 33 landowners; seeding of 44,000 pounds of sweetclover; development of 4 grazing systems on 3,040 acres; construction of four predator exclosures on 395 acres; creation of 52 acres of nesting island habitat by peninsula cutoff; construction of 2 nesting islands in a 160-acre wetland; alfalfa establishment and delayed haying on 111 acres; cattail management on 917 acres; and nesting habitat development on 580 acres of uplands. The joint venture concept of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan has involved private landowners, wildlife clubs, private conservation organizations, wildlife agencies, and a variety of governing bodies in working partnerships to provide funding and manpower to accomplish many projects and further the philosophy that profitable agriculture and abundant wildlife cannot only co-exist but flourish.
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