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North Dakota

Pigeon Point Preserve


Why You Should Visit
Pigeon Point's high diversity of wetland habitats and plant life is noteworthy. At least 15 rare plants are harbored in fen and wetland thicket habitats. The preserve also has one of the best developed, spring-fed streams in the Sheyenne River Valley.

The south end of the preserve consists of upland sandhill habitat much of which was formerly farmed. The Conservancy is currently restoring native tallgrass prairie to these old farm fields. The less disturbed northern end consists of slopes and floodplains of the Sheyenne River covered by riparian and wetland forests. Unusual groundwater-fed wetlands, called fens, are scattered in this area, along the slopes dropping off to the river floodplain.

Location
Pigeon Point is located in a straight line eight miles southeast of Sheldon, ND; or 14 miles east-northeast of Lisbon, ND. It is situated in the northwest portion of the Sheyenne Delta landscape along the south bank of the Sheyenne River.

Plan Your Visit
For more information on visiting this and other North Dakota preserves, check out our
Preserve Visitation Guidelines.

Size
The Conservancy's ownership at the Pigeon Point consists of 571 acres. It is part of the larger Sheyenne Delta landscape, nearly 236,000 acres, in a mix of private and public ownership.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The high quality fen and shrub meadow communities and their associated rare plants are what initially attracted the Conservancy to Pigeon Point. The Conservancy purchased 861 acres in 1994.

What the Conservancy Has Done/ Is Doing
In the late 1990's, 289 acres of excess cropland were sold, bringing the current preserve size to 572 acres. Since 1994 stewardship activities have included controlling the invasive leafy spurge, and conducting prescribed burns to reinvigorate the remnant prairie patches and woodland communities. The most ambitious undertaking has been the restoration of native prairie on a 200-acre farm field. Native seed restoration began in 2000 and Pigeon Point is already showing positive signs of recovery.

Canoeing the Sheyenne River, photography, bird watching, and mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding on the North Country National Scenic Trail are some of the activities in which to participate in the area.

What to See: Plants
Although part of the Sheyenne Delta landscape, an area dominated by sand prairies, the Pigeon Point preserve features the wetter end of the moisture gradient. Fens, shrub meadows, wet prairies, wet meadows, and lowland hardwood forests all are important parts of the vegetation at this preserve.
Among the rare plants found in these wetter habitats are marsh bellflower, spring cress, bog bedstraw, buck bean, Virginia mountain mint, bog willow, delicate sedge, brook flat sedge, marsh horsetail, and slender cotton sedge.

What to See: Animals
Activities by beavers are most noticeable at the preserve. Beaver dams have impacted water levels in many of the wetlands and fens on the preserve, and their feeding activity has also changed the nature of some of the plant communities, for example removal of trees and shrubs. These changes in turn influence the types of birds and other animals that inhabit these communities.  The birds at Pigeon Point are as varied as the habitat. On the upland prairie you might see western medowlarks, upland sandpipers, marbled godwits, savannah sparrows, clay-colored sparrows, grasshopper sparrows, Baird's sparrows and the occasional yellow rail. In the upland thickets, you may see a black-billed cuckoo, brown thrasher, catbird, lark sparrow, tree sparrow, wild turkeys and downy and hairy woodpeckers. In the prairie wetlands (during migration) you will see countless species of ducks. And in the Riverine forest and wetlands you may see a rose-breasted grosbeak, scarlet tanager, redstart, indigo bunting, oven bird, veery, or a pileated woodpecker.

There are no facilities at Pigeon Point. Bring water and all other supplies you might need. Nearest supplies are 18 miles away in Lisbon or 11 miles in Enderlin. Ticks and mosquitoes can be a problem at times and poison ivy is present.

Hunting and Fishing Policy in North Dakota

Directions

From Lisbon, North Dakota proceed 16 miles east on Highway 27 to 147th Street. Turn north on 147th (CR 53) for 4 miles to 63rd Street. Turn west on 63rd for two miles to a "T" in the road; turn south and you will see the preserve parking area.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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