Plans and Activities in C Blind
A couple weeks ago, someone asked what was going to be done with C Blind. I've put a few things together in this post to shed some light on the subject.
Taking cues from the land
As with much of the Duck Creek Renovation, we've been taking our cues from the lay of the land and trying to work within the constraints of our levees and ditches to provide wildlife and societal benefits.
C Blind happens to fall on an old depression that historically would have drained to the south through Pool 2 and then jogged to the southeast (across where Highway 51 is now) before curving back to the southwest. Ditch 104, the adjacent spoil piles and the entrance road along Pool 2 bisect this old drainage and send the water directly southeast and then south down Ditch 105. Additionally, an old levee on the north side of C Blind prevents water to flow south off of Thompson woods.
Better habitat, additional hunting and more water storage
Inhibiting the flow of water on and off of the landscape affects the duration of flooding. This in turn affects the plant communities and quality of habitat. By working with the fall of the land we not only benefit our habitat management, but capture water from the surrounding watershed to provide an additional hunting opportunity and provide additional flood water storage for our neighbors.
Matching grants support more conservation
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife. Over the years the Missouri Department of Conservation has used this source of funding and its partnerships to extend your dollar on wetland projects throughout the state. The Duck Creek Renovation is no different. The water control structures and work in Units A and B are partially funded by NAWCA dollars. In the coming year we will be submitting another grant proposal, which will include the plans for C Blind. If approved this work wouldn't happen until the summer of 2012.
Managing C Blind for open marsh habitat
Some of you may have noticed activity around C Blind this summer. In recent years, not much had been done, and it had grown up in a dog-hair stand of early succession trees (sweet-gum, ash and maple). As you can see from the maps in related information below, this area can be too wet to get equipment in because of its low-lying topography. This summer we took advantage of the dry conditions and started knocking things back. We removed a lot of the trees but kept the oaks and cypress. The plan is to manage it as open marsh habitat (moist soil vegetation) with scattered trees. To give you some perspective, this might look similar to parts of Rockhouse Marsh at Mingo NWR.
Well, that is what is in the works for C blind and what we knocked out this year. Thanks for the question.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.