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Special Problems of Waters ancl Watersheds As noted in preceding chapters, hydrologic developments have been important since primitive times in radically altering the face of the land. Both dewatering and flooding have been used to convert the natural drainage pattern of the continent into what we find today in many regions-the efficient utilization of land for adapted crops and the use of water for power, irrigation, and other purposes. These changes are still in progress, and pertinent questions arise as to how far and at what cost they should be pursued. On a wide variety of aquatic sites, as well as on watersheds directly affecting streams and slack waters, what man does has important en- vironmental impact. As one such impact, wildlife habitats may be either degraded or improved. Effects of this kind were touched upon in the survey of major changes on land and water (Chapter 31. In this chapter, several of the more far-reaching problems are explored in more detail, with the view that they offer particular challenge to re- source planning in the public interest. The analysis may also help to provide guidance on the local front where, in the last analysis, the test of policy is made. WETLANDS OF THE NORTHERN PRAI Rl ES The importance of the northern prairie pothole country as a breeding ground of North American waterfowl has been mentioned in various sections of this report. This region provides a classic example of the 149
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150 Land Use and Wildlife Resources conflict between land-use practices and a wildlife resource of national and international importance. The land in this region is characterized by small marshes that in some localities are thickly scattered over the former tall-grass and mixed prairies. It is some 300,000 square miles in extent, stretching in a broad arc from Iowa north and west to Winnipeg and Edmonton. Since Iowa marshes have largely been drained (Sieh, 1948), the present distribution of potholes south of the border is principally in the Dako- tas and western Minnesota. Combined, the prairies of Canada and the northern United States comprise about 10 percent of the waterfowl breeding grounds of North America, and it is estimated that they pros duce more than half of the annual crop of dabbling and diving ducks on the continent (Smith et al., 1964~. The density of potholes on the land varies from as many as 100 per square mile to "Blocks of prairies as large as 20 thousand square miles in the Dakotas [that] average fewer than 10 potholes per square mile.' In some years nearly every depression in glaciated northcentral United States and the Prairie Provinces holds water in the spring. The wet areas may be small temporary ponds and puddles, or they may be lakes covering hundreds of acres. It is during these years of high pre- cipitation that our continental "duck factory" is most productive. It is also during these years that water damage to farm crops is most severe. Birds frequently court and develop their pair bonds on the tempo rary waters. Dabbling ducks nest in fields and grassy borders and rear their broods in the marshes. Diving ducks incubate their clutches on mats of dead plant material in the emergent vegetation of shallow waters. For all ducks, the deep sloughs that hold water through the summer are critical habitat for maturing the young. The northern location of the breeding ground undoubtedly has certain advantages, as pointed out by Day (19661: . the pothole area North has traditionally demonstrated advantages in the pro- duction of marsh dwelling duck species. These shallow natural depressions freeze each winter to depths that eliminate natural predators such as pike, bass and tur- tles. Also, freezing prevents infestation by carp, which roil the waters and dis- courage the production of aquatic plants. The coming of the ducks in spring was described by Smith et al. (19641: The first mallards, pintails, and canvasbacks begin to arrive on prairie potholes in late March or early April, depending upon the severity of the weather. On the western prairies, spring usually arrives earlier than in eastern sections.... Mallards
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 151 and pintails may appear in Alberta and northern Montana in mid-March, while great concentrations of the same species may be held up in the Dakotas for another month by freezing temperatures. American widgeons, gadwalls, shovelers, green-winged teal, lesser scaup, and redheads usually follow in a few weeks.... Blue-winged teal, normally the last to migrate, may appear anytime from late April to mid-May. Recent ecological studies have shown that periods of drought, when most of the potholes go dry, are important in the long-term dynamics of waterfowl productivity. At these times, humus deposits that have been preserved under water are again exposed to the air. Through oxi- dation they break down and become soluble nutrients that contribute to fertility and the production of all plant and animal life when the rains come again. Oxidation and subsidence, as well as occasional peat fires, are processes that slow the eutrophication, filling, and natural drying out of the prairie lakes and marshes (Jahn and Hunt, 19641. In decades past, the contribution of potholes to groundwaters was largely discounted, it being the view of some hydrologists that the tight soils of the region largely precluded this movement. In times of drought, however, many landowners discovered that their only source of stockwater was a shallow well dug into the dry bottom of a pothole. More recently, studies of the Geological Survey have brought about a new evaluation of the "insoak" from potholes (quoted by Mann, 1966): The rates calculated seldom exceed 0.01 foot per day and usually are much less. Even if the rate were only 0.0025 foot per day, in a season of 200 days and an average area of 1 million acres in North Dakota, this would mean 500,000 acre- feet seeping into the ground. The maximum seepage rates that might be significant for the pothole region are now being investigated. On this basis it appears that prairie marshes do have at least a limited hydrologic function in replenishing aquifers beneath these glacial deposits. Pothole Losses, Past and Present The first general wetland inventory in the pothole region south of the Canadian border was taken in 1964. Biologists of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife surveyed a 25 percent sample in every section of each township. On this basis they estimated that 2.7 million acres of permanent wetlands remain. In primitive times the acreage was perhaps twice as great.
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152 Land Use and Wildlife Resources There has been a progressive loss of waterfowl habitat in the north- ern prairie region from a combination of causes, including agricultural drainage, land leveling and filling, soil washing and siltation, wind ero- sion, road building and urban occupancy, and pollution. Of these, the first is undoubtedly the most important. From an agricultural standpoint, drainage in the wheat-growing lands of the former grass country can be good business for a land- owner. It permits him to harvest a crop from sites that formerly caused trouble. When seedbeds are prepared each spring, low areas of a field may be too wet to be worked; the farmer must detour and seed them at a later date or forgo planting crops in these spots. Often he wastes time when equipment bogs down. When a wetland does get planted, it is not uncommon for a heavy rain to drown the crop. Economist H. W. Herbison ( 1 967) of North Dakota State University discussed the shallow and temporary types of field depressions in a re- port on wetlands use and management: Losses due to incomplete drainage for Type 1 and 2 wetlands . . . in about 30 counties east of the Missouri would figure out to an average annual toll of North Dakota's economy of at least $15 million in terms of income from delayed seeding . . . the cost of incomplete drainage in terms of marketability and lost grain associated with harvesting following periods of heavy rainfall would likely average out in this same area at about $5 million annually. Herbison indicated that, by conservative estimates, farmers of one district of the Devils Lake Watershed should benefit by about $3 to $4 for every $1 expended on updating facilities for removing excess sheet water and floodwater from valuable croplands. This, of course, does not apply to the deep marshes on which ducks chiefly depend, but it illustrates the importance of adequate drainage to the agricultural enterprise. As early as 1938, Kenney and McAtee stated that the drainage of productive waterfowl marshes to create more wheat land in the north- ern Great Plains was a major reason for the decline of the continental waterfowl population. They commented that Drought has now shown us that drainage of that region was carried on to a degree harmful even to the direct interests of man and that it would have been well to have left a great deal of this territory in its original undrained condition. Evidently the progress of land reclamation, mainly through private drainage operations, was well along at that time. In spite of such ad- monitions, in the period after World War II, with government encour
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 153 agement to increase production, farmers of the northern prairies greatly intensified their land-use practices. A long term record specific to wet- land drainage does not exist. However, the U.S. Department of Agri- culture (1963) reported drainage benefiting 6,237,000 acres in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota from 1936 to 1963. Biologists of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife investigated the significance of these figures as an indication of actual wetland losses and concluded that approximately 25 percent of the reported drainage represented a significant reduction of waterfowl habitat. On this basis, the loss of productive wetlands is about one and one-half million acres, or about 57,000 acres per year. Loss of waterfowl production is esti- mated at 1,840,000 (chiefly ducks) per year. Annual duck losses as a result of all habitat destruction since the late 1 800's are thought to be of the order of 6 million. There is major disagreement between the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife and the Soil Conservation Service relative to both statis- tics and their interpretation. On the basis of data compiled by the Soil Conservation Service, 205,984 potholes, totaling 246,918 acres, were drained in the tri-state area from 1946 to 1965. The waterfowl produc- tion lost to drainage is estimated at an average of 327,613 ducks per year. Although this Midyear period is not the same as the 27-year sur- vey interpreted by the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, a differ- ence in the figure on annual waterfowl losses by a factor of nearly 6 to 1 indicates a fundamentally different approach to the problem. More reliable indications of the extent of recent drainage are studies made by the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife since 1950, when more intensive work in this field was initiated. Cooperation of the Soil Conservation Service and the Agricultural Conservation Program Ser- vice has made more drainage records available, and field appraisals in terms of wetland categories have aided interpretation. The prairie wet- lands are now described as ranging from class I (the most transitory type of field depression that holds water for a few days or weeks in spring) to class V (deep marshes that retain some water even in time of drought) (Schrader, 19551. A study of drainage records for 1949 and 1950 indicated that an average of nearly three potholes to the square mile were drained in west-central Minnesota. There remained 14.2 water areas to the square mile at that time (Burwell and Sugden, 19641. Some 46 thousand potholes, whose total surface area was 188 thousand acres, were destroyed in Minnesota and North and South Dakota in 1949 and 1950. That was
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154 Land Use and Wildlife Resources done with subsidy payments; many others were drained without payments and did not appear in the record. As part of the intensified program, a survey of subsidized agricul- tural drainage in relation to waterfowl habitat losses in the tri-state region was carried out from 1954 to 1958 (Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 19611. This work was restricted to the 93 counties of greatest importance to waterfowl at that time. Thus counties largely drained before 1954 were not included. For the 5-year period a mini- mum of 50,410 waterfowl habitat areas, totaling 60,440 acres, were drained with federal assistance. The average was 12,088 acres per year. From 1959 to 1966 more data on subsidized drainage in the tri-state region indicated that approximately 31,032 acres of habitat were de- stroyed, with the rate of loss considerably reduced after 1962, when Public Law 87-732 was passed, followed by the Reuss Amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations Act in 1963. The foregoing figures indicate that waterfowl habitat losses involving government-sponsored programs are reasonably well known; the extent of private drainage was not well documented, however, until 1964 when the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife made its total inven- tory of existing production habitat (wetland classes III, IV, and V). In this 25-percent sampling, the most recent aerial photographs were used, followed by field checks to verify the typing. Data were corrected for losses that occurred after the photographs were taken. This survey is the base from which the reduction of waterfowl habitat has been cal- culated in an annual inventory since 1964. These yearly studies indicate that recent wetland losses are primarily the result of privately constructed farm drainage systems (Haddock and DeBates, 19699. The outlets used are those established through the small watersheds program (see p. 163 for discussion of Public Law 566), flood control projects of the Corps of Engineers, and local high- way and other ditching systems. The sampling of the tri-state area, utilizing 4.6 percent of the 1964 inventory, from 196S through 1968 indicated that approximately 125,000 acres of the best waterfowl habi- tat (i.e., classes III, IV, and V) had been drained in the 4-year period. The most intensive operations were in Minnesota, with North Dakota and South Dakota following in that order. In Canada, land reclamation through drainage has lagged behind similar operations in the United States, although the availability of heavy machinery has given impetus to the movement in recent years (Burwell and Sugden, 19641. There has been some provincial partici
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 155 pation in drainage projects, most notably in Alberta. There, a survey by Ducks Unlimited indicated that by 1960 registered ditches and drainage projects had affected 1 15,000 acres, and licensed "flood irri- gation projects" had drained 27,000 acres of wetlands and 55,580 acres of large lakes and marshes. Prior to 1960, water rights legislation in the Prairie Provinces did not recognize nonconsumptive uses of water, such as wildlife and recreation, as a legitimate claim. The general significance of trends in land use north and south of the border appears to be the same. Almost irrespective of the degree of ac- curacy attributed to drainage statistics, there is no real question that this and other types of habitat destruction and degradation in the prai- rie nesting ground have been extensive. The continental waterfowl population reached its low point in historic times during the drought years of the 1 930's, when habitats of this region were largely out of production. Correspondingly, it may be concluded that the disappear- ance of a major portion of the prairie waterfowl habitat has had an im- portant influence in the long-term downward trend of the duck population. Regulation and Mitigation of Drainage By the late 1 940's, field staffs of the Soil Conservation Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service were attempting to reconcile their differences. Predictably they did not make great progress, even though administra- tors and biologists of both agencies realized that public money was being used on the one hand to destroy waterfowl habitat and on the other to restore it (in the national wildlife refuge system and also in state federal-aid programs). The fact that Congress, under the urging of national agricultural organizations, continued to provide drainage sub- sidies meant that agencies of the Department of Agriculture would con- tinue to carry out their missions. Within the limits of its position, however, the Department of Agri- culture recognized the problem. Attention was called to it in the regulations for 1954, and in the following year cost sharing was not allowed on drainage for the primary purpose of bringing new land into production. This principle was further invoked in guidelines applying to open ditches in 1958. Drainage for improving existing croplands (lands with a crop history in at least 2 of the 5 years preceding an am plication for assistance) and for improving land-use efficiency was recognized as legitimate. These regulations necessarily left the drainage of land up to local
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156 Land Use and W ildl if e Resources option and definitions. They slowed the destruction of waterfowl habi- tat where work unit conservationists took a strong stand. They were not generally effective, however, in part because landowners could plow up potholes in years of drought, thus establishing a crop history and making the area eligible for drainage assistance. The Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (1961) concluded that It is clearly evident from an evaluation of the foregoing data and considerations, that as long as Federal cost-shares and/or technical assistance for drainage are available in the primary waterfowl-producing zone of the United States, waterfowl habitat will continue to be destroyed both directly and indirectly as a result of such assistance until the waterfowl habitat is gone. The inconsistency of this situation was increasingly realized in the Congress as the representations of many wildlife conservation groups were heard during the fifties. In 1958 Public Law 85-585 made possi- ble the purchase or leasing of waterfowl breeding habitat, and in 1962 Public Law 87-732 required that all requests for drainage of land in the prairie pothole region be referred to the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife for a prior determination of their wildlife value. The Bureau, or a state, was afforded an opportunity to buy areas of importance, and if the landowner refused to sell, he was not eligible for drainage assistance during the ensuing 5 years. Significant action in 1963 was passage of the Reuss Amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations Act of that year-a measure that has been a part of subsequent annual appropriations acts. On a nationwide basis, the use of Agricultural Conservation funds is prohibited for the drainage of wetland classes III, IV, and V. This law limits drainage sub- sidies in an important way, but it does not disqualify individuals or groups from obtaining other kinds of assistance in drainage projects. Government help is thus still contributing to the loss of valuable wet- land areas. The foregoing aspects of the waterfowl-wetlands problem must be considered in the light of a recent study by Goldstein ( 19671. This broad economic appraisal indicated that the cost of drainage of per- manent wetlands is sufficiently high that it would be uneconomical for a landowner if he paid the entire cost and if the market were free and competitive for agricultural products. Thus, without price sup- ports and government subsidies, the destruction of high-quality water- fowl habitat would be a socially inefficient process. Goldstein suggested that legislation prohibiting drainage of permanent wetlands would be appropriate if it included a suitable appeals system under which the
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 157 public value of a marsh might be determined with a view to equitable adjustments. Publ ic Acquisition and Easements On the northern prairies, state conservation agencies and organizations have long been concerned over the disappearance of wetlands. This is particularly evident in Minnesota, where Vesall (1963) estimated that these habitat types were being lost at a rate of 5 percent per year. He reported that under a program begun in 1951-Save Minnesota's Wet- lands-the state had optioned or purchased l 22,835 acres of prime habitat at a cost of nearly $4 million in sportsmen's funds. The state increased the small game license fee by $1 for this purpose. Within 10 years it was expected that the goal of 250,000 acres would be achieved-areas that would be preserved and developed for wildlife. At that time the state had created or improved about 60,000 acres of marshlands on state wildlife areas. In the Dakotas, federal aid acqui- sition and development programs have featured wetlands, and in South Dakota $9 of every out-of-state license fee is allocated to this purpose. A citizen's organization dedicated to preserving waterfowl habitat was formed in Milwaukee in 1961. "Wetlands for Wildlife" purchases key areas, which are then given to a state or the federal government. Although not a part of the prairie pothole country, the State of Wis- consin has been outstanding for its historic surveys and program of preservation and restoration for waters and marshlands. Dahlberg (1960) said that in 20 years 141,532 acres of wetlands had been ac- quired at a cost of more than 2 million dollars. Significantly, he called this the sportsman's "best investment," and observed that such areas are growing steadily in value. Acquiring these habitat areas was essen- tial to preserving them from drainage even though full development of their productive potential for wildlife must await the future availability of funds. Among the spectacularly successful waterfowl areas that the state has developed (in some cases jointly with federal projects) are the Horicon, Neceda, Meadow Valley, and Crex Meadows wildlife areas. The federal program to preserve valuable wetland habitat from drainage through the acquisition of land or rights was initiated in 1958 with passage of an amendment to the Duck Stamp Act of 1934. This effort requires cooperative arrangements with the Minnesota Depart- ment of Conservation; the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish; the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; and the Nebraska Game, Forestation, and Parks Commission. Since funds were
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158 Land Use and Wildlife Resources inadequate, an accelerated program was provided for in 1961 with passage of the Emergency Wetlands Loan Act (Public Law 87-383, 75 Stat. 8131. This act authorized an appropriation up to $105 million over a 7-year period on a countrywide basis for waterfowl conservation purposes. The act was extended for an additional 8 years in 1967. A part of the wetlands conservation effort is concentrated in the north-central states (about a third of the above funds are so ear- marked) and is known as the Waterfowl Production Habitat Preserva- tion Program on Private Lands. This program provides for purchasing easements, in perpetuity, extending to the owner's right to drain, burn, or fill small water or marsh areas, so that they may be preserved per- manently to benefit waterfowl and other wildlife. Some key areas are purchased outright. By the end of April 1968, more than 590,000 acres of privately owned waterfowl habitat were so protected. The initial objections of county officials and landowners created difficulties for this program, and delayed approval by state governors. One basis for objections was removed in 1964 when the Refuge Reve- nue Sharing Law allocated three fourths of one percent of the purchase price of a federally acquired tract to counties for the use of schools and roads. It has long been established that 25 percent of the income from products sold (such as crops or timber) on the national wildlife refuges goes to counties for the above purposes. Under drainage referral arrangements through March 1967, more than 91 percent of landowners requesting assistance refused offers of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife that would have preserved their wetland areas through easement or purchase. Other limitations are that easements do not protect a marsh from siltation, and there is no guarantee that there will be adjacent nesting cover as required by most dabbling ducks. In Herbison's study (1967), an informal survey of farmers indicated that about 7 out of 10 showed interest in main- taining class III, IV, and V wetlands for the accommodation of ducks in return for governmental assistance with economic drainage of excess flood and sheet waters from valuable croplands currently classified as class I and II wetlands. He indicated that such willingness was hedged with a desire to have competent soils technicians establish the class III and IV classifications for the areas under consideration. An obvious difficulty is that these are habitat classes, not soil classes. As of March 1969, in the critical tri-state area covered by the 1964 wetlands inventory, state game agencies had acquired some 83,000 acres of waterfowl habitat. Another 86,000 acres had been purchased under the federal Small Wetlands Program, and the bureau had ob
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds tained easements on about half a million acres of class III, IV, and V potholes. 159 Another significant effort toward government responsibility for key waterfowl lands is being made in Canada. Jahn (1968) stated that Canada launched a 10-year program, beginning in 1967 to control, through land- owner agreement, about two thirds of the 6,000,000 prairie sloughs and potholes that are of major importance in the production of three-fourths of North America's important game ducks. At a research and management workshop held at the Northern Prai- rie Wildlife Research Center at Jamestown, North Dakota, in 1967, biologist Graham Cooch said that the Canadian effort includes acqui- sition of selected wetlands and a system of easements to preserve waterfowl habitat in the pothole country. These multimillion-dollar programs are expected to secure 4.4 million acres of prime duck habi- tat and provide for research, public use, and depredation control. A complete inventory of lands, including wetlands, will be available in 1970 (Flyway Council Memo by Raymond E. Johnson, June 26, 1 967). A promising aspect of wetland acquisitions, state and federal, is that many areas in public ownership can be improved as breeding habitat for waterfowl. The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is car- rying out studies that have this objective. Soil Conservation Service biologists (Hem or et al., 1968) have made useful suggestions to land- owners for improving natural and man-made wet areas for waterfowl. Fencing, damming, "level ditching," opening up dense vegetation, and creating "loafing areas" are appropriate measures where the owner has an interest in wildlife. Progress in creating such interest among farmers would be speeded by establishing an adequate federal-state extension program on wildlife problems. The Changing View Although positive programs, both public and private, have developed in the United States and Canada for preserving and managing portions of the waterfowl breeding areas, the efforts to date probably are not on a scale that can maintain this wildlife resource on a generally useful level. As Jahn (1968) pointed out, something more effective is needed, and he cited the "water bank" idea being studied by an interagency committee in North Dakota. This would be a system of waters and wetlands reserved and administered through the county offices of the
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170 Land Use and Wildl if e Resources the agronomist and agricultural engineer. Important advances of these kinds have been made and undoubtedly will continue. The soil-stabilizing vegetation that forms wildlife coverts on riparian lands sometimes receives little consideration in land uses. Surveys indi- cate that there are at least 300,000 miles of streambanks undergoing severe erosion. In the intermountain West, from 66 to 90 percent of the sediment load of many streams has this origin. Commonly the stream- side vegetation important to fish and other wildlife has been destroyed by heavy grazing Streambank cover is beneficial to fish as shade and as a source of insect foods. It is habitat for fur animals, squirrels, wood ducks, arid many kinds of songbirds. A survey of streambank wildlife habitat in Kentucky (Russell, 1966) showed that of 226 miles of stream margins surveyed, including 18 streams or sections thereof, 93.5 miles (41.4 percent) had been altered. The practice most frequently adverse to wildlife was agricultural clearing; others included refuse dumping, gravel operations, and bulldozing in connection with flood-control operations. In the Southwest, the introduced salt cedar occurs on floodplains of the Rio Grande, and the Colorado and Gila rivers. It seines as impor- tant nesting habitat for the white-winged dove and mourning dove. Arizona Game and Fish Department studies indicated that the salt cedar thickets along the Gila River channel between Gillespie Dam and the confluence with the Salt River provided about 98 percent of the habitat for a nesting population of more than 360,000 doves in this area. Salt cedar appears to take the place of dryland thickets of mesquite that were destroyed by woodcutting and land clearing and thus has been important in maintaining the dove population. If the salt cedar, a phreatophyte that occasions a large loss of water through evapotrans- p~ration, were destroyed on a large scale, the number of doves would Inevitably be reduced. Likewise, if the cottonwoods, sycamores, alders, and maples of mountain canyons in southern Arizona and New Mexico were to be cut without consideration of the habitat requirements of certain rare and endangered birds, these species might well be decimated in the United States. Among the species utilizing such areas are the coppery- tailed trogon (Trogon elegans), grey hawk (Buteo nitidus), black hawk (Buteogallus an thracinus), whiskered owl (O tus trichopsis), rose- throated becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae), thick-billed kingbird (Tyran- nus crassirostris), varied bunting (Passerina versicolor), blue-throated
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae), and the violet-crowned hum- mingbird (Amazilia rioliceps). These cases perhaps exemplify the local involvements of wildlife that come to light when operations are planned and carried out by agencies having a single purpose. Water management in the West has been notable in this regard. Since pioneer times, siltation has been a major factor in changing the ecology of streams and influencing their productivity for many kinds of vertebrate life. Whereas initially the streams of forested areas were characteristically deep, shaded, and spring-fed, today many are shallow and intermittent-a general reflection of the instability of watersheds. The storage capacity of artificial reservoirs in the country is being reduced by sedimentation at the rate of 1 million acre-feet per year (Freeman and Bennett, 19691. This has obvious implications for the future, as stated by Leopold (19561: 171 Most projects will yield benefits equal to costs during their economic life, but there will come a time when great lengths of major river valleys will consist of reservoirs more or less filled with sediment. When that time comes, the problems of water control and of water use will be of a distinctly different character from those which concern us today.... Problems that will be created on built-up floodplains when this situ- ation becomes widespread have received minimal consideration. Infor- mation on the useful life of proposed reservoirs has been notably lacking among the economic criteria available to the public. Mining the Watershed Directly or indirectly, surface mining has adversely affected wildlife habitat involving 1 2,898 miles of stream, 281 natural lakes, 168 reser- voirs, and 1,687,288 acres of land (U.S. Department of the Interior, 1967~. In Kentucky the average sediment yield from coal-stripping spoil banks was 27,000 tons per square mile, as compared with 25 tons on adjacent forested watersheds (Freeman and Bennett, 19693. From active and abandoned mining operations of all types it is estimated that some 4 million tons of acid equivalents are being discharged annually into the nation's streams (Udall et al., 19681. An approach to the rehabilitation of areas damaged by surface mining has been suggested by special committees formed at the request of the 89th Congress through Public Law 89-4. Their report, issued by
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172 Land Use and Wildlife Resources the Department of the Interior ( 1 967), indicates that much can be done to prevent damage and to reclaim mined lands. It proposes a co- ordinated program involving government at all levels, plus the indus- tries concerned, and calls for specific legislation, regulations, and action programs relating to: (1) prevention of future damage; (2) repair of past damage; (3) research and investigations; and (4) administration. This report, as submitted to Congress, could be an effective guide to all branches of the government in regulating an activity that involves the return of more than 5,000 square miles of disturbed areas to use- fulness as wetlands, forests, ranges, croplands, and special wildlife habi- tats and greatly affects the public welfare. Listings in bibliographies on strip-mine reclamation by Limstrom (1953), Knabe (1958, in German), Bowden (1961), and Funk (1962) indicate that the majority of the research has been concerned with basic problems of reclaiming and revegetating or reforesting mined areas. Yeager (1940), Riley (1958), and Klimstra (1959) studied the potential of strip-mined coal lands of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio as wildlife habitat. Their studies indicate that the surface-mined areas on which trees, shrubs, and herbaceous vegetation had been re-established either naturally or artificially provided desirable habitat for at least ten species of game mammals and three species of game birds, plus numer- ous species of other birds and mammals. Wetlands within the strip- mined area supported several kinds of fish, waterfowl, shorebirds, reptiles, and amphibians. Such studies show the need for additional research to determine, for the various parts of the United States, inter- relationships between wildlife, surface mining, and rehabilitation of mined areas. The states have varied in their approach to reclamation of strip- mined areas, some having laws requiring a high degree of reclamation and others permitting a minimum of grading and revegetating under broad regulations. In recent years Kentucky and Pennsylvania have enacted reclamation laws that require contour leveling where this is possible, and bench leveling on steeper lands. Where the land cannot be reclaimed, stripping is not permitted. Particularly in the Appalachian region, the extensive mining of steep mountain slopes has severely damaged recreation lands and waters. On the other hand, in the more level lands of the Midwest certain benefits are recognizable and may be enhanced through reclamation operations. In this respect, surface mining is leaving ponds and lakes of high rec- reational value, and leveling the land surface would destroy these if carried to the extreme. The irregular surface of mined areas, including
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 173 the breaking up of rock strata, forms an effective catchment for the recharging of groundwaters. Mined lands also impound runoff and may have some flood-control value. Mined lands, with their associated waters, have in some areas become choice suburban home sites and bring a high price as real estate. The Kentucky state law that requires reclamation grading back to the original contour probably means that most of the land will become pasture or otherwise lose its primary value for wildlife. However, most surface-mined lands are likely to yield their major benefits in forestry and recreation, and specific planning for these purposes is appropriate. Thus, to promote better access by hunters and other recreationists, Pennsylvania guidelines require that slopes not exceed 25 percent (Davis, 19651. In Indiana, the Patoka State Fish and Game Area has been Install fished on surface-mined lands and will encompass some 7,000 acres when lease arrangements with a coal company are completed. It in- cludes seven coal-pit lakes up to 14 acres in size that offer public fish- ing, and quail shooting is reported to be good. As part of this project, which was begun in 1963, the state plans a management program for other small game and for deer. Other states are giving emphasis to wildlife habitat development in reclaiming stripped lands, and many more such areas are likely to be developed intensively for hunting and fishing. Natural processes of rock fragmentation and plant succession work rapidly to aid the re- covery of mined lands where attention is given to the burial of acid- producing materials and to a reasonable shaping of contours. Where mining results in long-term degradation, as on steep mountainsides, the working of coal or other deposits should be postponed until acceptable methods can be developed. WILDLIFE IN WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT Legislative recognition that wildlife values should be considered in water development operations began with passage of the Fish and Wild- life Coordination Act of 1934 (Public Law 48-4011. An amendment of 1946 provided that reports and recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior relative to wildlife losses and measures to be taken would be made a part of the construction reports for federal water projects. A further amendment in 1958 gave authority to the construction agen- cies to improve and develop wildlife resources, with the stated purpose
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174 Land Use and Wildlife Resources of providing ". . . that fish and wildlife conservation shall receive equal consideration . . . with other features of water-resource development programs." A final step in this direction was taken in 1965 with passage of the Anadromous Fish Act (Public Law 89-304), which stated that: Water resource projects which are determined by the Secretary to be needed solely for the conservation, protection, and enhancement of such fish, may be planned and constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation in its currently authorized geo- graphical area of responsibility, or by the Corps of Engineers, or by the Depart- ment of Agriculture, or by the States. In noting this important progress, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Cain (1966) remarked that the Fish and Wildlife Service had now be- come one of that select group of federal agencies that could institute water project plans. "Progress has been made, but problems are still with us. Federal actions still are being taken in the water resources field that are inimical to fish and wildlife resources, and we can do little about them." Particular areas of difficulty, said the Assistant Secretary, were the lack of control over thermal pollution by steam electric plants, and the insistence by some of the construction agencies that dollar values be placed on wildlife losses. In the latter connection he quoted the Senate Committee report on the 1958 amendment to the Coordination Act: It is the understanding of your committee, however, that these measures would not have to be justified under the usual benefit-cost type analysis. They would not produce 'benefits.' These measures would be for reducing or compensating for losses. As a final major problem areas "We are almost always frustrated in trying to maintain fish and wildlife values in connection with water re- source development of coastal and estuarine areas of the Nation as a result of dredging and filling operations." Since the waters of concern are navigable, a permit for such operations must come from the Corps of Engineers. But this agency has no jurisdiction over values other than navigation. Thus the destruction continues: All along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and in some parts of the Pacific Coast, dredges by the score are busy tearing up the estuarine environment. Much of their purpose is to build new residential areas for Venetian-type developments, that is, with navigable canals leading to each residence. This situation is particularly acute in Florida, where all around the peninsula estuarine fish and wildlife values are suf- fering huge losses from dredging and filling The situation is almost as bad in Long Island and along the New Jersey coast.
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 175 Since prehistoric times, the rich biological resources of coastal wet- lands and tidal waters have been important to mankind. Odum ( 1961) has shown that estuaries in Georgia produced 10 tons of dry matter during their year-round growing season-more than the best European wheat and corn lands. The zone of shallows where fresh and salt waters mix serves as a "nutrient trap" where a wide variety of living things benefit from the changing depths and currents. Coastal waters and their associated saltmarshes, mudflats, and tidal creeks and pools are used seasonally by great numbers of migratory waterfowl and resident birds of many kinds. They are the habitat of certain aquatic and semiaquatic mammals, the alligator, and a vast ar- ray of economically important marine life. It is estimated that there are some 27 million acres of these seaside environments bordering the United States and its territories. Here is where such seafoods as oysters, clams, abalone, shrimp, crabs, and lob- sters are produced, and estuaries are the nursery waters for juvenile stages of fish that support the commercial fisheries of offshore conti- nental shelves (see Milton, 1968; U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1967; Walford, 1967; Lynch, 19671. Cooper (1968) stated that about 5,000 commercial fishermen and 400,000 sportsmen of North Carolina take an annual harvest of marine products that is the equivalent of a $100 million industry. This yield is primarily dependent on more than 2 million acres of "sounds and marshes" bordering the state. The importance of estuaries as fish and wildlife habitat places a high premium on the preservation of essentially natural conditions. lIow- ever, these are also the areas of greatest promise for the artificial cul- ture of marine mollusks and crustaceans (Webber, 19681. It is clearly in the national interest to promote an understanding of their ecology and leave their use options open for the future. It has been suggested that the Secretary of the Interior be given authority to protect estuarine biological resources; this appears to be a logical arrangement. In 1967, however, Cain reported gratifying moves that were made possible through increased communication and cooperation between the Department of the Interior and the Corps of . engineers: On a basis of protection to fish and wildlife habitat, a dredging per- mit was denied in Boca Ciega Bay, Florida. There has been increasing evidence that the Corps of Engineers and the State of Florida are rec- ognizing the right of Everglades National Park (a major estuarine habi- tat) to a share of water diverted by the central and south Florida flood
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176 Land Use and Wildlife Resources control and water-development project. A memorandum of under- standing between the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Interior ". . . provides a firm basis for the two Departments to cooper- ate in controlling pollution and conserving fish and wildlife, recreation and esthetic values that may be involved in dredging and similar op- erations under Corps permits." Under this agreement district engineers of the Corps will notify state, federal, and other interested parties when a permit application is received and hold public hearings when appropriate (Cain, 19671. Despite persistent liabilities, important benefits have accrued from the Coordination Act and its amendments. Various states and the Di- vision of River Basin Studies of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wild- life have worked consistently to retain conservation pools in reservoirs. provide for minimum water releases for fish, and avoid excessive water releases. Increasing attention has been given to wildlife values and to mitigation measures when construction activities are expected to result in fish and wildlife damage. In 1965, some 196,000 acres were pur- chased by the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation for additions to the National Wildlife Refuge System. These lands were not only for the reduction of losses but also for enhancement of the wild- life resource. In North Dakota, 70 units of waterfowl habitat are being supplied in dry periods with water from the Garrison Diversion Unit on the Missouri River. Progress is being made in integrating the hitherto widely divergent programs of federal agencies. The intent of Congress to preserve and improve wildlife resources for public use is evident and should have a salutary effect as an example to states where wildlife management still is not recognized as a beneficial competing use of water. Much of the loss of wildlife habitats incident to water management has come about through the widespread urge to replace natural dy- namics with mechanized controls. The extensive development of flood- plains for intensive uses, discussed in Chapter 3, exemplifies this trend. When these effects are added to the accumulative results of drainage, the total destruction of natural aquatic scenes and environments reaches catastrophic proportions. The question of what is worth saving for future purposes becomes an issue pressing for clear-cut decisions. Further restructuring of natural drainageways in North America in- volves a high proportion of large-scale, expensive, and marginal projects that must be studied in terms of longterm effects and objectives. The valid considerations include a philosophical outlook on the future of mankind in this part of the world. The support of maximum numbers
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 177 of human beings under highly artificial conditions is a choice opposed to the alternative of limiting population at a level where the living stan- dard can include the esthetic and recreational values found in spacious hinterlands. The viewpoint is growing that the summary writing off of scenic, space, and recreational values, as has been common in resource develop meets, is not acceptable public policy. The emergence of revised qual- ity criteria for the human environment is suggested in a statement by the President's Council on Recreation and Natural Beauty (1968) Led. note: the original is in italics]: The Council proposes that Federal flood control and other water resource develop- ment programs and projects seek to retain or restore natural channels, vegetation, and fish and wildlife habitats on rivers, streams, and creeks and apply the same policy to federally assisted public and private projects.... In view of the rapidly developing signs of overdemand and overuse in the industrialized part of the world (see Jackson et al., 1968; Mayer, 1969), accompanied by an overburden of pollution for which no ade- quate provision is now in sight, the need for more conservative resource policies is evident. It is prudent to assume that not enough is known of ultimate human needs to permit further extensive and irreversible changes in the natural aspects of land and water. REFERENCES Allan, P. F., and I. McKeever. 1962. Multiple purpose developments in small watersheds. 27th N. Amer. Wildl. & Natur. Resour. Conf. Trans. p. 122-132. Bowden, K. L. 1961. A bibliography of strip-mine reclamation: 1953-1960. Univ. Mich. Dep. Forest. & Conserv. 13 p. (processed.) Bue, I. G., L. B. Blankenship, and W. H. Marshall. 1952. The relationship of grazing practices to waterfowl breeding populations and production on stock ponds in western South Dakota. 17th N. Amer. Wildl. Conf. Trans. p. 396-414. Bue, I. G., H. G. Uhlig, and J. D. Smith. 1964. Stock ponds and dugouts, p. 391 398. In J. P. Linduska and A. L. Nelson (ed.), Waterfowl tomorrow. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Washington, D.C. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. 1961. Waterfowl production habitat losses related to agricultural drainage. Br. of River Basin Stude Rep. 39+A-23. Burwell, R. W., and L. G. Sugden. 1964. Potholes-going, going . . ., p. 368-380. In J. P. Linduska and A. L. Nelson (ed.), Waterfowl tomorrow. U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Washington, D.C. Cain, S. A.1966. Coordination of fish and wildlife values with water resources de velopment goals. 2nd Ann. Amer. Water Resour. Ass. Conf. 11 p. (processed.)
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178 Land Use and Wildlife Resources Cain, S. A. 1967. Estuaries: our most endangered natural habitats, p. 41-48. In J. D. Newson ted.), marsh and estuary management symposium, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Cooper, A. W. 1967. Salt marshes and estuaries: cradle of North Carolina fisheries. N.C. Architect 15(6,7~. Dahlberg, B. L. 1960. Wetlands: The sportsman's best investment. Wis. Conserv. Bull. 25~8~:3-5. Davis, G., et al. (editorial committee). 1965. A guide to revegetating bituminous strip-mine spoils in Pennsylvania Research Committee on Coal Mine Spoil Re- vegetation in Pennsylvania. 46 p. Day, A. M. 1964. Developing fish and wildlife resources through Public Law 566 projects. 29th N. Amer. Wildl. & Natur. Resour. Conf. Trans. p. 112-118. Day, A. M.1966. Wildlife habitat management as a means of increasing recreation on public lands. Bureau of Land Management. Unpublished Report. 73 p. Durand, F. V.1963. Small watershed projects and wildlife. 28th N. Amer. Wildl. & Natur. Resour. Conf. p. 308-313. Freeman, O. I., and I. L. Bennett, Jr. 1969. Control of agriculture-related pollution. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Office of Science and Technology, Wash- ington,D.C. 102p. Funk, D. T. 1962. A revised bibliography of strip-mine reclamation. Cent. States Forest Exp. Sta., Misc. Release 35. 19 p. Goldstein, J. H. 1967. An economic analysis of the wetlands problem in Minnesota. University of Minnesota, unpublished thesis. 115 p. Grizzell, R. A. 1960. Fish and wildlife management on watershed projects. 25th N. Amer. Wildl. Conf. Trans. p. 186-192. Haddock, J. L., and L. W. DeBates. 1969. Report on drainage trends in the prairie pothole region of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. 8 p. (unpublished.) Hamor, W. H. 1965. An analysis of fish and wildlife developments in watershed projects in the midwest. Ass. Midwest Fish & Game Comm. Proc. 32: 29-34. Hamor, W. H., H. G. Uhlig, and L. V. Compton. 1968. Ponds and marshes for wild ducks on farms and ranches in the northern plains. U.S. Dep. Agr. Farmers' Bull. 2234. 16 p. Herbison, EI. W. 1967. A progress report on aspects of North Dakota wetlands use and management. N.D. State Univ., Agr. Econ. Rep. 58. 35 p. Jackson, H. M., et al. 1968. Congressional white paper on a national policy for the environment. 90th Cong., 2nd Sess., Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House Committee on Science and Astronautics. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 19 p. Jahn, L. R. 1966. A wildlife organization's view of P.L. 566. Sod Conservation Service, Midwest Biological Workshop, Madison, Wis. 24 p. Jahn, L. R. 1968. "Water Bank" proposed to maintain wetlands. Ducks Unlimited 31(3): 14. Jahn, L. R., and R. A. Hunt. 1964. Duck and coot ecology and management in Wisconsin. Wis. Conserv. Dep. Tech. Bull. 22. 212 p. Kenney, F. R., and W. L. McAtee. 1938. The problem: drained areas and wildlife habitat, p. 77-83. In Soils and Men. The Yearbook of Agriculture 1938. U.S. Department of Agriculture. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Kimball, J. W. 1954. Ducks, potholes, and good farming. Flicker. 26~41: 131-135.
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Special Problems of Waters and Watersheds 179 Kimball, J. W. 1964. Recreation, fish and wildlife in watershed development. 11th Nat. Watershed Cong., Comm. Rep. p. 42-54. Klimstra, W. D. 1959. The potential of wildlife management on strip-mined areas. Ill. Wildl. 14(2): 5- 10. Knabe, W. 1958. Beitrage zur Bibliographie uber Wiederurbarmachung von Berg- bauflachen. Wiss. Z. Humboldt-Univ., Berlin. 7:291-304. Leopold, L. B. 1956. Land use and sediment load, p. 639-643. In W. L. Thomas (ed.), Man's role in changing the face of the earth. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Limstrom, G. A.1953. A bibliography of strip-mine reclamation. Cent. States Forest Exp. Sta., Misc. Release 8. 25 p. Low, J. B. 1945. Ecology and management of the redhead (Nyroca americana) in Iowa. Mon. Ecol. 15: 35-69. Lynch, I. J. 1967. Values of the south Atlantic and Gulf Coast marshes and estu- aries to waterfowl, p. 51-63. In J. D. Newson (ed.), Marsh and estuary manage- ment symposium, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Mann, G. E. 1966. Wetlands-liquid assets. Conserv. Volunteer 29~1664:3~38. Mayer, J. 1969. Toward a non-Malthusian population policy. Columbia Forum (summer),5-13. Milton, J. P.1968. Coastal conservation. Conservation Foundation. 22 p. (mimeo.) Munro, D. A.1967. The prairies and the ducks. Canadian Geogr. J. (July) National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber. 1967. Food and fiber for the future. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 361 p. Odum, E. P. 1961. The role of tidal marshes in estuarine production. N.Y. State Conserv. 15~6~: 12-15. Poole, D. A. 1968. Weaknesses in the Public Law 566 watershed program. 15th Nat. Watershed Cong., Proc. President's Council on Recreation and Natural Beauty. 1968. From sea to shining sea. A report on the American environment. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 304 p. Riley, C. V. 1958. An evaluation of reclaimed coal strip-mined lands as wildlife habitat. Diss. Abstr. 18: 740-743. Russell, D. M. 1966. A survey of streambank wildlife habitat. Southeastern Ass. Game & Fish Comm., 20th Ann. Meeting, Proc. Schrader, T. A. 1955. Waterfowl and the potholes of the north central states, p. 596-604. In Water. Yearbook of Agriculture 1955. U.S. Department of Agriculture. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Sears, P. B. 1956. The processes of environmental change by man, p. 471-484. In W. L. Thomas (ed.), Man's role in changing the face of the earth. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Sieh, J. G. 1948. The waterfowl story in Iowa. 14th Midwest Wildl. Conf. (mimeo.) Smith, A. G., J. H. Stoudt, and J. B. Gollop. 1964. Prairie potholes and marshes, p. 39-50. In J. P. Linduska and A. L. Nelson (ed.), Waterfowl tomorrow. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. Smith, R. H. 1953. A study of waterfowl production on artificial reservoirs in eastern Montana. J. Wildl. Manage. 17(3~: 276-291. Southwick, H. C. 1966. Small watershed projects, friend or foe of wildlife? Naturalist 1 7( 1 ): 24-28.
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180 Land Use and Wildlife Resources Udall, S. L., et al. 1968. The nation's water resources. Report of the Water Re- sources Council, Washington, D.C. U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. 1967. Estuarine programs interim report. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. 29p. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1963. Summary by states of the Agricultural Con- servation Program. Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of the Interior. 1967. Surface mining and our environment. Special Report. Washington, D.C. 124 p. Vesall, D. B. 1963. Your wetlands . . . blue chip investment. Conserv. Volunteer 26(152~: 4-7. Walford, L. A. 1967. Values of the south Atlantic and Gulf Coast marshes and estuaries to sport fishery resources, p. 79-82. In J. D. Newson (ed.), Marsh and estuary management symposium, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Webber, H. H. 1968. Mariculture. BioScience 18(10~: 940-945. Williams, D. A. 1957. Benefits from watershed projects. U.S. Dep. Agr., Soil Conserv. Serv., Watersheds Memo. SCS-66 (Rev. 4~. 50 p. Ye.ager, L. E. 1940. Wildlife management on coal~tripped land. Fifth N. Amer. Wildl. Conf. Trans. p. 348-353.
Representative terms from entire chapter: