Morris Wetland Management District includes 249 waterfowl production areas - small parcels of wetlands and grasslands - scattered throughout an eight-county area and encompassing 54,307 total acres. Like other wetland management districts in the prairie states, the goal of the district is to restore and protect enough wetland and grassland habitat to meet the needs of prairie wildlife, particularly breeding waterfowl, as well as provide places for public recreation.
Waterfowl Production Areas were created by an amendment to the Federal Duck Stamp Act in 1958. Scientists realized that these small pockets of habitat were vital to breeding waterfowl. This amendment gave the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service permission to purchase small wetlands. Your purchase of a Federal Duck Stamp provides funds to acquire, oversee and manage waterfowl production areas and easements.
The district covers Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Yellow Medicine counties in western Minnesota. The district purchases land from willing sellers, manages scattered waterfowl production areas and works with private landowners interested in improving their land for wildlife. The district also protects land through the purchase of permanent conservation easements from willing landowners to protect wetlands and grasslands on private property throughout the district.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
Everywas created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.
The district will emphasize waterfowl production and ensure the preservation of habitat for migratory birds, threatened and endangered native species and resident wildlife. The district will provide opportunities for the public to hunt, fish, observe and photograph wildlife and increase public understanding and appreciation of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem.
March 16, 1934 - The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act was created. Commonly referred to as the "Duck Stamp Act" this law requires each waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older to possess a valid Federal hunting stamp. The receipts from the sale of the stamp are deposited in a special Treasury account known as the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and are not subject to appropriations.
August 1, 1958 - Congress officially created the Small Wetland Acquisition Program by amending the 1934 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act to allow proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps to be used to protect waterfowl habitat.
1964 - Initially founded as the Benson Wetland Management District, the name was changed to the Morris Wetland Management District when the headquarters was moved.