Public Review of Desoto & Boyer Chute Refuge

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Public Review of Desoto & Boyer Chute Refuge

Postby feathhd » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:29 am

Public Review of the DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) Environmental Assessment and Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan has begun! The plan is intended to guide management of the refuges over the next 15 years. The document is available for a 30-day public review and comment period beginning on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

Public Open Houses will be held to discuss the plan and solicit comments. Please join us!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

DeSoto NWR – Visitor Center
1434 316th Lane
Missouri Valley, IA 51555

Thursday, October 3, 2013
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Fort Calhoun Library
110 South 14th Street
Fort Calhoun, NE 68023

The plan is available online at www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/desoto_boyerchute/
(Paper copies or CDs are available upon request.)
Comments can be submitted directly to the refuges or e-mailed to r3planning@fws.gov
Please feel free to contact the refuges at 712-388-4800 if you have any questions.
F/H/D
feathhd
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Posts: 892
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: NW IOWA


Re: Public Review of Desoto & Boyer Chute Refuge

Postby feathhd » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:26 am

Mo. Valley Waterfowlers Association tentatively Supports Option D

Our only suggestion would be to maintain adequate agricultural acres around seasonally flooded wetland acres so that when Fall pumping efforts begin those agricultural acres also become TEMPORARILY flooded providing Supplemental Migratory habitat and enhance the areas ability to attract, hold larger concentrations of Migratory waterfowl in the region.

We also think that New trails, paths should not be expanded beyond what they already are and the resources that it would take to build them, manage them would be better spent in any opportunity to enhance Boyer Chute for more season & Temporary migratory habitat and should include any opportunity to seasonally flood Agricultural acres to add enhanced Migratory habitat to the region. The addition of this would again Support the facilities ability to attract and hold larger concentrations of Migratory birds in the region.

Mo. Valley Waterfowlers Association would help contribute to Supplemental Pumping Costs to achieve the objective ( 10K to 14K ) based on the number of additional Agricultural acres targeted by supplemental pumping.


Sincerely,

William J. Smith
President
Mo. Valley Waterfowlers Association
Sioux City Iowa
5309 HWY75 N Lot 44
51108
712-274-3343
FHD101

Alternative D Page 78 of EIS

Alternative D: Proposed Action
The proposed action takes a very active approach to habitat and wildlife management and
monitoring, focusing on expanding seasonal wetland habitat to emulate preregulation flood
cycles of the Missouri River and providing a moderate increase in visitor services available to
the public. It follows that this alternative will also require the greatest amount of personnel and
capital resources of the four alternatives. Improving the inlet and outlet structures on DeSoto
Lake will increase management capabilities for either maintaining the closed-system open water
conditions (the status quo) or creating more riverine conditions that enhance fish passage
between the river and lake. Seasonal wetland acres will be increased through a robust pumping
program during the spring and fall migrations, while offering mudflats, annual vegetation, and
Agriculture
0%
DeSoto
Lake
11%
Missouri
River
3% Seasonal
Wetlands
4%
Bottomland
Forest
35%
Shrub/Scrub
41%
Grassland
4%
Sandbar
0%
Developed
2%
Alt. C Land Cover - DeSoto NWR
Missouri
River
7% Seasonal
Wetlands
2%
Bottomland
Forest
4%
Shrub/Scrub
32%
Grassland
Sandbar 1%
0%
Developed
1%
Inholding
(Agriculture)
53%
Alt. C Land Cover - Boyer Chute NWRChapter 3: Management Alternatives
DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges / Environmental Assessment and Draft CCP
61
perennial vegetation throughout nonmigratory periods. This wetland regimen will emulate 2-
year and 5-year flood cycles.
The cooperative farming program at DeSoto NWR will be phased out and agriculture will only be
used in a limited capacity (solely on DeSoto NWR) by refuge staff as a management tool to
address invasive species, set back succession, and prepare seed beds for restoration. The
grassland component of the refuges will increase slightly as additional acres come out of
agriculture. Overall grassland and wetland acres will vary by season due to natural and
managed wetland expansion and contraction. The focus on mesic tallgrass prairie will be
replaced by a mix of mesic and hydric grasslands. The proportions and distribution of
bottomland forest, cottonwood parkland, and shrub/scrub habitat will remain approximately
similar to current conditions on DeSoto NWR and will increase moderately on Boyer Chute
NWR as additional riparian areas are transitioned to forested habitats (Boyer Island and riparian
zones). Figure 3-9 shows the approximate percent of future land cover types projected for the
refuges, while figures 3-2 and 3-3 (earlier in this chapter) show the approximate distribution.
Figure 3-9: Future Land Cover Quantities under Alternative D
DeSoto NWR is fully acquired, and staff will only consider expansion of the authorized boundary
under conditions that are passive, opportunistic, and do not exceed a 10 percent increase over
the current acreage. Funds have not been allocated for acquisition of the final 53 percent
(calculation excludes the Missouri River surface area) of Boyer Chute NWR since 2005, but
management will continue to seek opportunities to acquire inholdings and promote land
acquisition as a regional priority. Newly acquired lands on Boyer Chute NWR will be converted
from agriculture to prairie habitat, and the development of bottomland forest habitat will be
encouraged along riparian corridors.
Wildlife monitoring will increase for a number of aggregated (not individual) targets, including
invasive species, migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, secretive marshbirds, grassland birds, forest
birds, fish and aquatic species (in DeSoto Lake), and game species. Additional details of the
monitoring program will be fleshed out immediately following the CCP in an inventory and
monitoring step-down management plan.
The visitor services program will expand in a number of ways with careful consideration of
17wildlife disturbance during bird migrations. Overall, public access and visitor opportunities
Agriculture
0%
DeSoto
Lake
11%
Missouri
River
3%
Seasonal
Wetlands
17%
Bottomland
Forest
35%
Shrub/Scrub
3%
Grassland
28%
Sandbar
1%
Developed
2%
Alt. D Land Cover - DeSoto NWR
Missouri
River
7%
Seasonal
Wetlands
5%
Bottomland
Forest
19%
Shrub/Scrub
1%
Grassland
15%
Sandbar
Developed 0%
1%
Inholding
(Agriculture)
53%
Alt. D Land Cover - Boyer Chute NWRChapter 3: Management Alternatives
DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges / Environmental Assessment and Draft CCP
62
increase while visitor services infrastructure remains fairly constant as compared to current
conditions. Access to DeSoto Lake will also remain the same as current conditions—closed
only during the migratory period (see table 3-1). The heavy-duty bridge to the Boyer Island Unit
of Boyer Chute NWR will eventually be removed for maintenance, safety, and chute habitat
reasons, and replacement options will be considered. Additional changes include new hunting
opportunities on both refuges, fishing on all lakes and ponds on units open to the public,
opening additional areas of both refuges to the public for wildlife observation and photography,
creating new trails and wildlife observation areas, allowing leashed dogs on the refuges,
increasing environmental education by 20 percent; updating and improving interpretive
information, infrastructure, and services; and working toward increasing volunteerism. Table 3-
2 (earlier in this chapter) illustrates access changes across the alternatives.
F/H/D
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Posts: 892
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 5:26 pm
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