108. Creef Cut Trail

As you walk to the end of this short boardwalk, you will be treated to a view of one of the moist soil vegetation management units on the refuge. As its name implies, a moist soil vegetation management unit is designed to manage native plants that occur in areas of moist soil. The goal is to favor plants that produce seed that is desirable to and nutritious for waterfowl. When the waterfowl migrate to the area, they use the refuge as a rest stop and consume the seed before continuing their migration. The moist soil vegetation management units are equipped with water control structures that allow refuge staff to raise and lower water levels in the units. During summer, water levels are held at a depth so that soil remains saturated, but not flooded. If there is a shortage of rain, pumps are used to wet the units from the neighboring ditches. As waterfowl arrive in the fall, water control structures are manipulated so that the units will be shallow standing water to provide easy feeding access for waterfowl. After waterfowl leave in the spring, water control structures are manipulated so water levels are lowered. Active management of moist soil vegetation includes mowing, disking, burning, and herbicide application. Desirable plants are smartweed, flatsedge, sedges, beggarticks, rice cutgrass, and wild rice.