The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is 2,197 acres of natural areas, including another 3,910 acres cooperatively managed with partner organizations, all within Michigan's Lake Erie coastal area. The natural areas are diverse; coastal wetlands, wetland impoundments, former agricultural fields, forest, and even a former industrial brownfield exist within urban, suburban and rural landscapes. The Refuge's habitat management plan (HMP) identified specific "resources of concern", which included natural communities and individual species, that are the focal points for management. The HMP also established goals, quantitative objectives, and strategies for such stewardship issues as protecting rare natural communities, fallowing former agricultural land, using prescribed fire, dealing with invasive Phragmites, caring for degraded urban forests, landscape design and even aesthetics. Management outcomes are evaluated by simple quantitative metrics, yet the Refuge still needs a strong natural heritage inventory program to ensure unique features are not unintentionally lost in any one natural area.
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
Greg Norwood is a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stationed at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. He works on conserving the Refuge's natural communities, conversion of cropland into natural communities, Phragmites and cattail management in coastal wetlands of Lake Erie, and a broad range of natural heritage inventory work. Greg graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Eastern Michigan University with degrees in biology.