J. Clark Salyer Wetland Management District (WMD) is located in north-central North Dakota. The District covers 6,543 square miles in Renville, Bottineau, Rolette, McHenry, and Pierce Counties. Within the District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages 27,332 acres of Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs), 127,100 acres of wetland easements, 15,231 acres of grassland easements, 6,500 acres of FMHA conservation easements, and 7,910 acres of National Wildlife Easement Refuges.
The majority of the District is glacial drift prairie but also covers portions of the glacial Souris plain, glacial Lake Cando, the Missouri River Coteau, and the Turtle Mountains. Many shallow lakes and small potholes are found in this geological formation. Uncleared uplands in the Turtle Mountains are made up of green ash, burr oak, aspen, and various shrubs.
The Souris Lake Plain contains the largest relatively unfragmented tract (about 1 million acres) of northern mixed-grass prairie in North Dakota. This area contains some of the highest quality waterfowl habitat in the prairie pothole region (180 nesting duck pairs per square mile) and a high concentration of Bird Conservation Areas. One hundred forty-eight migratory bird species breed within the area.
The North Dakota Natural Heritage Inventory has identified 19 rare animal and 35 rare plant species within the Souris Lake Plain. WPAs are open to hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with applicable Federal and state laws, except where otherwise posted. WPAs are also open to wildlife observation, photography, interpretation, and environmental education activities. All motor vehicles, including snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles, are prohibited unless specifically allowed by posted signs.