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Ronald Bell

Forestry and Natural Resources > Ronald Bell

 Ron Bell

Degree: BS Wildlife Management
Year: 1970

Business Title: Wildlife Refuge Manager
Business: U.S. Department of the Interior, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
City, State: Mound City, Missouri
Web Address:

Ronald BellI graduated in 1970 with a B.S. degree in Agriculture majoring in wildlife management. I am currently the Refuge Manager at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City, Missouri. Squaw Creek is just one of more than 530 refuges across the the country. It is within the Department of the Interior - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The refuge contains 7,350 acres with approximately 3,200 in managed wetlands. Squaw Creek is a resting and feeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. During fall waterfowl migrations, the refuge will host peaks of more than 350,000 snow geese, 120,000 ducks and 250 bald eagles.

The refuge is located 35 miles northwest of St. Joseph, Missouri and 100 miles north of Kansas City, MO and 100 miles south of Omaha, NB. We are only 2 1/2 miles off of Interstate Highway 29. More than 150,000 visitors come each year primarily to see the large concentrations of geese, ducks and bald eagles.

I am the refuge manager and have a staff of 6 employees that I supervise. All of our activities revolve around providing food, shelter and water for wildlife. This includes prescribed burning, water management, cropland management, grassland management and we currently have a large number of wildlife research and other biological programs going on. We have the largest population in the state of Missouri of least bitterns, pied-billed grebes and common moorhens that nest on our wetlands. We search for their nests in the late spring/early summer using an airboat. We also have an active bald eagle pair that have nested the past 5 years.

While I was an undergraduate at Purdue, I was selected by Dr. Durward Allen to work on Isle Royale National Park during the summer of 1969 and 1970 and 1972 while I was a graduate sutdent at the Ohio State University. Our primary job was to hike the Island and look for moose killed by wolves and make wildlife and habitat observations. In Dr. Allen"s book, "The WoIves of the Minong", he even quoted some of my observations. It was the greatest experience I ever had and still reflect many days on how much fun it was to work and to learn from such a field experience.