Seney National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the protection of migratory birds and other wildlife. It began under the Bureau of Biological Survey, which morphed into the US Fish & Wildlife Service in 1940. Under the reorganization all migratory bird preserves became national wildlife refuges.
Seney NWR covers over 95,000 acres, of which 25,000 are wilderness. The federal government purchased the land in the midst of the Great Depression because, as the official website puts it, “This is a land that was once heavily logged, burned, ditched, drained and cultivated. Despite repeated attempts, the soils and harsh conditions of this country would not provide a hospitable environment for sustained settlement and agriculture.”
A refuge brochure continues, ” To create a home for these birds, wildlife managers, with the aid of the Civilian Conservation Corps, began to further alter the landscape. An intricate system of dikes, water control structures, ditches and roads were built. Although they never produced as many ducks as early managers hoped, these pools have become vital habitat for the common loon and trumpeter swan, both Michigan State threatened species.”
Along the Pine Ridge Nature Trail “the Civilian Conservation Corps built the Wigwams in the late 1930s as a fishing access point and rest area for visitors.”
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Brochure:
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on January 18, 2014.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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