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Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge

Carpio ND, Carpio, North Dakota 58725 USA

“destination for ducks!”

The 1930's brought drought to the Great Plains and disaster to waterfowl. Populations of ducks plummeted to all-time lows and conservationists began to act. A flamboyant political cartoonist from Iowa, Jay N. "Ding" Darling, became director of the newly formed Bureau of Biological Survey and chose J. Clark Salyer as his top aide. Darling helped push the Duck Stamp Act through Congress in 1934, requiring every waterfowl hunter 16 years and over to annually purchase and carry a Federal Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sale of Duck Stamps were earmarked to buy and lease waterfowl habitat. In 1935, Salyer used Duck Stamp receipts to purchase three refuges, including Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, on the loop of the Souris River. Two groups, the Civilian Conservation Corp and Works Project Administration, provided large labor forces which built dikes, roads, fences, and water control structures on the refuges. Men were hired locally as well as from other states. Camp Maurek, a military-style camp located on Upper Souris National Refuge, housed as many as 250 men. Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge lies in the beautiful Souris River Valley of north-western North Dakota and extends for nearly 30 miles along the River. This 32,000-acre Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is an important unit in a series of national wildlife refuges in the great waterfowl migration corridor know as the Central Flyway.

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