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Land Restoration Progress Praised During NRCS Visit

Publish Date
WRE

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff visited Paula Ramsey’s property on June 5 to review the progress of previous NRCS projects, highlighting the benefits of the Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management program.

By Chris Maestas, State Public Affairs Specialist, NRCS, ND

DEVILS LAKE, N.D.-Ramsey’s 523-acre Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) includes 126.8 acres dedicated to Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management. Since 2018, several conservation practices have been implemented to fully restore the easement.

The project, initiated by the Devils Lake NRCS office and supported by the NRCS Area Office staff, aimed to enhance the local ecosystem by restoring wetlands and planting native grasses and flowers.

“We have a lot of variety of grasses and native flowers, which the birds, bees, and butterflies love,” said Ramsey. “NRCS was able to help us with the program, and we are still able to maintain the land for future generations.”

Dustin Brodina, Devils Lake NRCS Conservation Delivery Unit Supervisor
Dustin Brodina, Devils Lake NRCS Conservation Delivery Unit Supervisor, holds a grass plug on Paula Ramsey’s 523-acre Wetland Reserve Easement which includes 126.8 acres dedicated to Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management. Since 2018, several NRCS conservation practices have been implemented to fully restore the easement by restoring wetlands and planting native grasses and flowers.

The WRE restoration involved collaboration with the Plant Materials Center (PMC) and the Devils Lake High School Biology Class. In 2018, NRCS Area Office staff collected over 1,200 prairie cordgrass plugs, 150 slough sedge plants, and 500 big bluestem plugs from the PMC. The students then planted these plugs in a zigzag pattern to account for fluctuating water levels and control undesirable species. This hands-on involvement offered valuable educational experiences and fostered a sense of stewardship among the youth.

“The goal is to preserve and enhance the property,” said Dustin Brodina, Devils Lake NRCS Conservation Delivery Unit Supervisor. “The benefits are significant – we have created wildlife habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, furbearers, and other wetland-dependent flora and fauna, provided flood storage, and implemented programs to control undesired plant species by promoting desired ones. This is a prime example of how our programs can benefit both the environment and the community.”

Ramsey’s land has also been utilized by local organizations such as the Lake Region Sportsman Club, Pheasants Forever, and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The property is enrolled in the Game and Fish Department’s Private Lands Open to Sportsmen (PLOTS) program, allowing public access for activities like the popular Youth Only Pheasant Hunting weekend.

“Paula has been great to work with,” Brodina said. “She has allowed the easement to be used for educational opportunities and conservation efforts, ensuring the integrity of the easement and controlling undesirable species.”

The restoration of Ramsey’s property in the heart of the Devils Lake basin exemplifies the NRCS’s commitment to conservation and community engagement. Through the WRE and other initiatives, the NRCS continues to support landowners in preserving and enhancing their land for future generations.

Ramsey’s 523-acre Wetland Reserve Easement includes 126.8 acres dedicated to Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management.
NRCS staff visited Devils Lake resident Paula Ramsey’s property to review the progress of previous NRCS projects. Ramsey’s 523-acre Wetland Reserve Easement includes 126.8 acres dedicated to Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management. Since 2018, several conservation practices have been implemented to fully restore the easement.
prairie cordgrass plugs, 150 slough sedge plants, and 500 big bluestem plugs
The Wetland Reserve Easement restoration involved collaboration with the Devils Lake High School Biology Class. In 2018, NRCS Area Office staff collected over 1,200 prairie cordgrass plugs, 150 slough sedge plants, and 500 big bluestem plugs from the NRCS Plant Materials Center. The students then planted these plugs in a zigzag pattern to account for fluctuating water levels and control undesirable species. This hands-on involvement offered valuable educational experiences and fostered a sense of stewardship among the youth.
Devils Lake resident Paula Ramsey shares property updates with NRCS staff.
Devils Lake resident Paula Ramsey shares property updates with NRCS staff. “We have a lot of variety of grasses and native flowers, which the birds, bees, and butterflies love,” said Ramsey. “NRCS was able to help us with the program, and we are still able to maintain the land for future generations.”

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