Wildlife Refuge



WILDLIFE REFUGE

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, located in Butte County of Northern California, serves many purposes to surrounding communities, including wildlife. Divided in two segments, this refuge serves the wildlife and recreational desires of visitors; one segment is for the waterfowl to rest, and the other designated for hunting.

Approximately 50,000 visitors come to this Wildlife refuge every year. Various activities and events bring spectators of nature and sport hunting year round, regardless of weather. Hunting is only allowed three days a week in the season designated. Visitors travel here to observe waterfowl in courtship activities, migration, or to bird watch in general. Of the 50k visitors every year, 15,000 are hunters. Through fees paid for the privilege to hunt this protected area, the hunters pay for the luxury of viewers or spectators.

Grey Lodge Wildlife Area when first bought in 1931, being only 2,500 acres and 9,200 acres presently. An abundant water supply is needed to manage this area, with most water coming from Lake Oroville. Although a wildlife refuge areas are initially viewed as natural, they factually are not different from any ranch. The land is totally managed, with the same tactics and equipment, with one thing different; this being the harvesting of crops. All crops are actually harvested by the waterfowl and wildlife. In parts of the year, marshes are burned, and some land is disked to regenerate new growth. The management of this area is a 365-day job, with flooding, seasonal hazards, and poachers. Forty percent of management time is spent on water management, being the whole livelihood to the refuge area.

Along with bird watching sites and special segments for hunting, there are special access sites for the disabled hunters. These are special blinds accessible with a placard from the Department of Motor Vehicles, and are an outcome from the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. The walkway to these special blinds is laid with sand and other materials, somewhat solidifying, for the use of a wheelchair.

Like any community, disease and sickness occur in the wildlife area. Prompt action is vital to the population of waterfowl, and overall wildlife. Fowl Cholera is a nasal born disease occurring during a severe cold spell, or water conditions available just are not right. Mammals and small rodents are also known to perish as a result from this disease. All waterfowl and animals need be disposed, for the attempt to save remaining in jeopardy.

Vegetation management is also an issue on this wildlife refuge. The use of herbicide to control various exotic, unwanted, class one pests is common. The Arundo, a giant bamboo cane, is a flood control inhibitor, and difficult to do away with. Most of the biomass to this plant is underground and in this area. Grey Lodge in the fourth year of treatment has an Arundo Eradication Team, emphasizing the need to rid of this weed.

Other plants on this wildlife refuge native, or not; desirable or not; are-milkweed (undesirable), native blackberry (desirable), non-native blackberry (undesirable), and parrots feather (undesirable aquatic weed).


Summary

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, located in Butte County of Northern California, serves many purposes to surrounding communities, including wildlife. Divided in two segments, this refuge serves the wildlife and recreational desires of visitors; one segment is for the waterfowl to rest, and the other designated for hunting. Only three days of the week are designated as hunting days, leaving the other four to strictly sightseeing and management time. The three days of hunt are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. The privilege to hunt includes a fee, which in turn, allows other events on the refuge to be free of fees.

Approximately 50,000 visitors come to this Wildlife refuge every year. Visitors travel here to observe waterfowl in courtship activities, migration, or to bird watch in general. All crops are actually harvested by the waterfowl and wildlife. Vegetation management is also an issue on this wildlife refuge. Other plants on this wildlife refuge native, or not; desirable or not; are-milkweed (undesirable), native blackberry (desirable), non-native blackberry (undesirable), and parrots feather (undesirable aquatic weed).












Bibliography: