Established in 1964 as a migratory waterfowl refuge, Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) has about 832 acres of wetlands. The wetlands provide vital food and habitat for wildlife through their variety of aquatic plants and animals. KNWR contains both permanent and seasonal wetlands. Permanent wetlands are kept flooded year-round, while the seasonal wetlands are drained or “drawn down” in spring and summer to promote the germination of food plants needed by waterfowl. In the fall seasonal wetlands are flooded again, allowing ducks and geese to forage. Permanent wetlands provide rest areas for migrating waterfowl and important nesting and brood-rearing habitat for many wetland-dependent species. Look for mallards, Canada geese, and wood ducks in the spring and shorebirds in mid- to late summer.