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USFWS Bear River Refuge, Great Salt Lake, Utah
The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The ponds on the left receive freshwater from the Bear River, and dikes keep out the hypersaline waters of the Great Salt Lake when its elevation rises. In this April, 2008 image, the lake was low, exposing mudflats. Fresh, to moderately-saline waters flow from the refuge and from Willard Bay Reservoir (top) into the open Bear River Bay and create extensive playa wetlands used by shorebirds and migratory waterfowl(ducks, geese). Potential expansion of solar salt ponds of Great Salt Lake Minerals (center-right pond) would eliminate much of this bird habitat. The Wasatch Mountains are seen in the background.