Natural Resources

Fort Worth District Management Philosophy

Natural Resources Management Program

The Corps of Engineers is the steward of the lands and waters at Corps water resources projects. Its Natural Resources Management philosophy is to manage, conserve, and improve these natural resources and the environment while providing quality public outdoor recreation experiences to serve the needs of present and future generations.

In all aspects of natural and cultural resources management, Corps managers promote awareness of environmental values and adhere to sound environmental stewardship, protection, compliance, and restoration practices.

The Corps manages for long-term public access to and use of the natural resources in cooperation with other federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the private sector.

Natural resource managers integrate the management of diverse natural resource components such as fish, wildlife, forests, wetlands, grasslands, soil, air, and water with the provision of public recreation opportunities. The Corps conserves natural resources and provides public recreation opportunities that contribute to the quality of American life.


There are two developed wetlands on both Stillhouse Hollow and Belton Lakes and both were created as mitigation projects.   On Stillhouse Hollow Lake, the wetland is found in the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area on the south shore of the lake.   Currently, this 10 acre existing wetland is being expanded to include 1.2 acres (3,800 ft.) of riparian corridor, 1.1 acres of shrub wetland, 1.4 acres of forested wetland and 2.4 additional acres of emergent wetland.  In addition to the expansion of this wetland, some other wetland features will be incorporated such as benching within the existing pond to create a submersed zone and emergent zone.  In addition to this, many native tree, shrub, grass, forb and wetland plant species will be installed and the entire wetland area will be fenced for protection.  The project should be completed during the summer of 2008.

On Belton Lake, the wetland is found between White Flint and Winkler Parks in the White Flint Wildlife Management Area.  This wetland is approximately 25 acres in size and gently slopes to create submersed and emergent zones.   Future plans for this wetland include installation of more native plant materials to increase biodiversity and enhance the value to wildlife.  

Bird Watching

Bird watching is a favorite pastime of many visitors to Stillhouse Hollow Lake. All kinds of songbirds, hawks, and even an occasional bald eagle visit the area. Great blue herons, ducks and geese in the winter, and various other shorebirds frequent the area and give the bird watching public something to see year-round.

Visit the Audubon Society for more bird watching information.

Stillhouse Hollow Natural Resources

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the natural resources around Stillhouse Hollow Lake in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.

Take a look at the programs that interest you.

Land Management

The goal of the natural and cultural resources management program is to manage resources for the public benefit consistent with resource capabilities. Long-term objectives include:

1. Manage vegetation to develop and sustain a diversity of resident and migratory game and non-game wildlife species in accordance with the resource capabilities and other purposes of the lake project.

2. Protect and manage habitats supporting individuals and populations of special status species, especially federal and state listed threatened and endangered plants and animals.

3. Protect historic and prehistoric cultural sites, as well as unique paleontological and geological features.

4. Preserve and enhance the visual characteristics of natural landscapes.

The danger of wildfires is managed by fuel load reduction through hay sales and occasional prescribed burns.  Hay sales not only remove fuel load directly but also allow the development of fire lanes via work abatement.  Such management strategies help to dramatically slow the spread of wildfires when they occur and minimize their chance of occurrence.  Additionally, these management activities enhance the movement of emergency response vehicles into areas where wildfires might occur.

Wildlife Management

Wildlife Management Areas and other land areas adjacent to the lakeshores were acquired for project operations, but they are designated for wildlife management. Agricultural activities may be undertaken to improve wildlife habitat. As potential wildlife habitat, these compartments are best suited to upland game bird, songbird and waterfowl species management.  Emphasis will be placed on improving habitat for bobwhite quail and Rio Grande turkey, as other species will also benefit from such improvements. Techniques to encourage continued use by raptors, including osprey and bald eagles, will also be utilized. Such lands are available to the public for sightseeing, nature study, hiking, hunting and other activities that enhance environmental awareness and promote environmental stewardship.

Agency Roles

The broad objective of fish and wildlife management is to conserve, maintain and improve the fish and wildlife habitat to produce the greatest dividend for the benefit of the general public. Implementation of a fish and wildlife management plan is the first step toward achieving the goals of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (Public Law 85-624). The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Department share responsibility for managing fish and wildlife, primarily through enforcement of laws and regulations and establishing seasons and bag limits for game species.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The role of the Corps of Engineers, as a proprietary landowner, is essentially that of sound environmental stewardship. The Corps has the authority to restrict hunting and fishing in certain areas in the interest of safety and to prevent interference with project operations. The Corps may set harvest or season limits that are more restrictive than those set by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Corps may also issue permits for hunting and charge administrative fees to cover program costs in accordance with ER 1130-2-550 and EP 1130-2-550.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

 The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has the primary responsibility for managing resident fish and game species. Game wardens from the enforcement division are responsible for enforcing game laws, and Corps of Engineers park rangers assist them in water safety patrols and search and recovery efforts. Disposal of injured and dying animals protected by law will be coordinated with game wardens. Annual white-tailed deer surveys and other special management programs, such as brown cowbird and white-tailed deer trapping and special harvest permits, will be coordinated with the area biologist.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the lead Federal agency for protection of wildlife. Among its other missions, the agency is responsible for carrying out the intent of the Endangered Species Act, which it does through listing of species, enforcement of the provisions of the act and establishing wildlife refuges. In accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act the Corps of Engineers is required to consult with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service when activities are proposed that may affect wildlife populations or habitat. All work that may affect an endangered species will be coordinated with the appropriate department.