Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area: A Historical Perspective
Keywords:wetlands, game refuge, migratory waterfowl, dams, Arkansas River, Grand Lake Reservoir Company, Lake Cheyenne, federal funding
From the point of view of the great flocks of migratory waterfowl which traverse North and South America every year, the Cheyenne Bottoms ecosystem is an essential stopover. For some, it is a wintering ground. Since the late Pliocene Era, Cheyenne Bottoms has provided refuge for the many species of ducks, geese, cranes, and terns; as well as mammals and reptiles who live off of large populations of migratory waterfowl. The prehistory of Cheyenne Bottoms provides insight into the geological development of the Central Plains region. The story of Cheyenne Bottoms since the arrival of the Euro-Americans reflects the attitudes of those who have partaken of its bounty, worked for the perpetuation of a dependable waterfowl habitat, as well as those who have worked toward its destruction.