- Audubon Wetland Management District (WMD) includes Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA), FmHA Easements, Refuge & Wetland & Grassland Easements and Wildlife Development Areas (WDA) located in Ward, Sheridan, Hettinger and McLean Counties in north-central North Dakota. The district is administered from Audubon NWR headquarters. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills and small wetlands interspersed with small grain farms and cattle ranches. The area is part of the prairie pothole country historically known for it's waterfowl production.
The WMD includes 100 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA's) scattered throughout the county areas. WPA's are fee owned properties (18,424 acres) that vary in size from 20 to 1,500 acres. Other district responsibilities include seven easement Refuges (7,043 acres) where ownership is restricted to wildlife and water protection on private lands. The WMD has 82,031 acres of wetland easements involving 1,210 contracts on private lands. Wetlands are protected from drainage, filling and burning under this program. Similar to the wetland easement, the WMD has two grassland easements protecting 4,362 acres from being plowed up. Under a cooperative program with the US Dept. of Agriculture, 15 Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) easements protect 7,046 acres on private lands. This program involves wetland and blocks of upland vegetation under protection.
The WDA's are mitigation lands transferred from the Bureau of Reclamation for the Garrison Diversion Irrigation Project . The water delivery canal (McClusky Canal) is the site of most WDAs, Sheridan and McLean counties. There are eighteen WDAs from 60 to 3,450 acres in size and totaling 10,540 acres. One in Hettinger County. These properties are owned by the Service in fee title allowing total management activity.
In addition to Service land management, district personnel work with agricultural, county, state, federal and private groups to enhance area wildlife and their habitat on private land, Partners for Wildlife work including one full time, term appointed worker.
The Audubon Wetland Management District is located in Ward, Sheridan, Hettinger and McLean Counties in north-central North Dakota.