Region 6 National Wildlife Refuge System Division of Biological Resources Ecological Assessment Branch
Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge is located in east-central Kansas near the town of Hartford and sits within and upstream of the John Redmond Reservoir, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control. Dramatic fluctuations in the reservoir are common with large rain events, which complicate the effective management of the refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife. In addition, the base conservation pool level was recently raised 2 feet to 1,041 feet.
To better understand these fluctuations and their impact, we used lidar-derived elevation data collected in 2010 and 2011 to model inundation across the refuge at all reservoir levels. Combining historical reservoir elevation allows refuge staff to estimate and visualize flooding frequency and duration. This information is being used to develop goals and objectives for habitat management and inventory and monitoring plans as well as to facilitate continued communication between staff and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Flood inundation model at low and high reservoir levels on Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge.