Protection, Conservation, and Restoration of the Fort Peck Tribes’ Manning Lake Wetland Complex on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Scientific Disciplines
Biological Sciences - Terrestrial
Environmental Protection Agency
Fort Peck
fort peck indian reservation
The Manning Lake Wetland Complex
Fort Peck Assiniboine
Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux Tribes
manning lake
manning lake wetlands
manning lake wetland complex
wildlife restoration
Volume 16, No. 4

Protection, conservation, and restoration of the fort peck 
tribes’ manning lake wetland complex on the fort peck 
indian reservation

Jeanne D. Spaur, Manning Lake Wetlands Tribal Wildlife Refuge, Office of Environmental 
Protection, Fort Peck Tribes, Poplar, Montana 59255
The Manning Lake Wetland Complex (MLWC), located on the Fort Peck Indian 
Reservation, is an incredible and unique landscape providing vital breeding and rearing 
habitat for a diversity of waterfowl, migratory birds, songbirds and other species, including 
at least 10 of conservation concern. The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes and their 
partners have been working toward the protection, conservation, and restoration of the 
22,000-ac wetland complex since 2004, when nine natural resource professionals from tribal, 
state, and federal agencies and programs formed a working group. Since then, thanks in 
part to grants from USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and 
Montana Audubon, great progress has been made toward reaching this goal.  This presentation 
will introduce the Manning Lake Wetlands Tribal Wildlife Refuge and share our methods and 
accomplishments to date which include 1) designation of the Complex by Montana Audubon 
as An Important Bird Area; 2) Tribal establishment and management of 4000 ac as a Tribal 
Wildlife Refuge with plans to include additional acres in the future through purchase or 
long term conservation leases; 3) development of a habitat management plan and a wetland 
monitoring and assessment plan; 4) creation of a reservation specific wetland rapid assessment 
method; 5) creation of a baseline macroinvertebrate, bird, and amphibian species list; 6) 
development of water quality references; and 7) creation of habitat, vegetation associations, 
and land usage maps.