A New Home for Waterfowl on Earth Day

Media Contact: Jim Budolfson , (208) 334-1466

For Release: April 24, 2003

Migrating waterfowl will have two more stops to make this year at Nampas Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.

Two wetlands projects were launched this week through a partnership of private, state & federal agencies. The result will be increased wildlife habitat and cleaner groundwater in the area.

On Tuesday April 22nd, Earth Day, representatives from Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Fish & Game, and the Bureau of Reclamation used a backhoe to release water into a newly expanded wetland area located below the upper embankment of Deer Flat dam.

The wetland is one of two that will be built in the vicinity of the upper Lake Lowell embankment. A second pond and wetland will be created along the northeastern shoreline of the lake later this spring.

Since early April, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service personnel have constructed low dikes at the Embankment Pond that doubled the size of the existing wetland. The expanded habitat is expected to support a new community of waterfowl and other wetland dependent species.

Another wetland site is in development and is located along the northeastern shoreline of Lake Lowell, near a commercial gravel pit. Lake water that seeps into the gravel pit and is normally pumped back into the lake, will be diverted to create a pond and wetland of about 4 ½ acres in surface area. A riser pipe and culvert will be installed to control the level of the pond.

Over the next few years, we expect that the wetlands will become an integral part of the refuge complex, says Deputy Refuge Manager Todd Fenzl.

The project was jointly funded between four entities. Ducks Unlimited provided for design and heavy equipment. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provided logistics, and equipment operators, and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game an equivalent amount in cash. The Bureau of Reclamation will match 50 percent of the project costs. Total cost for both ponds is expected to be around $ 20,000.

Lake Lowell or Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is located 25 miles west of Boise, Idaho.

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