The role of the wildlife refuge in relief of vertebrate pest damage in agriculture
Wildlife refuges in the upper Sacramento Valley of California play a very significant role in the relief of wildlife damage problems affecting agriculture. The history, management, and effectiveness of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley, CA, are described as a case study representative of the refuges within this region. The refuge functions as a multipurpose recreational use are with objectives as follow: to provide a marshland-wildlife environment with particular concern for waterfowl using the Pacific Flyway; to provide wildlife food crops including desirable aquatic, as well as agricultural cereal crops, to lessen waterfowl crop depredation and to maintain health wildlife populations; to provide recreational opportunities including controlled public hunting; and to provide a site for pertinent wildlife research projects. The refuge’s management strategy and functions are described in some detail, including the economic value of crops produced, and wildlife taken during sport hunting and depredation hunts.