The Importance of Rangelands: Summer Lake Wildlife Area

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The Importance of Rangelands: Summer Lake Wildlife Area I. Introduction Are rangelands important? If asked, many people probably wouldn't know the answer since rangelands are so rarely discussed. However, Summer Lake Wildlife Area, a rangeland located in Oregon and managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, preserves the habitat for a huge variety of wildlife and plant species, provides communities with environmental education, and can be utilized for recreational activities. Rangelands may not be well known, but they are extremely important and provide multiple, tangible benefits to the environment, wildlife, and local communities. II. Ecology Summer Lake Wildlife Area is a closed basin wetland. The biggest threat to the ecology of the region is irrigation practices since the migrating bird species depend on certain parts of the area flooding (Ducks Unlimited, 2013). The Summer Lake Wildlife Area is located inside the Summer Lake watershed. Inside the watershed there are projects in place for the purpose of restoration, including the wildlife refuge (OSU Libraries Oregon Explorer, n.d.). Several areas of the watershed are impaired due to organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen, nutrients, water temperature, and sedimentation/siltation (EPA, n.d.). Summer Lake Wildlife Area had approximately 18,000 acres of marsh as well as other productive lands. It's a habitat for birds, aquatic animals, and is used for breeding and resting by migrating waterfowl (Broil et al, 1976). It has several different types of habitats, including lacustrine wetlands (Lakebed and alkali playa which are either open water, intermittently flooded, or seasonally flooded), Palustrine wetlands, (permanently flooded, semi-permanent flo... ... middle of paper ... ...Overstreet, R., & Curran, S. (n.d.). Parasites of the American White Pelican. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from cpubs State Conservation Report. (n.d.). Ducks Unlimited. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from Reports/master/oregon.pdf Summer Lake Watershed (USGS #17120005). (n.d.). Welcome to the Oregon Explorer!. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from Summer Lake Wildlife Area Management Plan . (n.d.). Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from anagement%20Plan%20October%202007.pdf
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