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Bear River Migratory Refuge timeline

1903: As settlers moved into the area, quantities of Bear River are diverted for use by upstream settlements and farms. The marshes begin to dry.

1920: Only 2,000 to 3,000 acres of wetlands are left.

1928: An outbreak of avian botulism kills hundreds of thousands of birds. Public reaction to these epidemics brings congressional action, and the Bear River delta is designated a National Wildlife Refuge.

1931: Fifty miles of dike and water control structures are completed.

1982: A visitors center is opened.

1983: Rising water on the Great Salt Lake floods refuge dikes, contaminates fresh water habitats, destroys the visitors center and other structures.

1990: Waters of Great Salt Lake recede. Refuge employees and volunteers begin to restore the refuge.

1993: New breeding habitat is added to the refuge.

1997: More than 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt is moved to restore old dikes.

2000: Recovered habitat supports millions of birds.

2003: The National Wildlife Refuge System celebrates its centennial. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge celebrates its 75th birthday.

2006: New visitor education center is opened.

Source: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge