If you really believe that then I have a management plan I would like to sell you. lol They absolutely did know it would negatively impact the duck numbers and hunter numbers in the refuge. I had a number of conversations with the fellow who took the data. He said that he told them that very thing multiple times in various meetings and public "forums" (aka - complain-so-we-can-say-we-consulted-you-we-are-doing-it-anyway-meetings). And you have the DU stamp of approval with the ever popular caveat of "well it was the best we could do" and "urban sprawl" and yada yada yada as they reduce hunter numbers and access. Make no mistake it has not had an impact on duck populations or anything like that, it has merely shifted the migration patterns. I am guessing and of course it would be impossible to know, but I suspect the private farms and ponds and clubs have seen a nice bump, and Chehalis/Elma area as well. From my logs, what I have noticed is that the number of birds that actually winter in the Nisqually is down. I don't even bother with the last two weeks of the season any longer. In the long term, the migration probably has a greater shift to the greys harbor/costal route. Point is the deed is done. As long as wildlife management has a "bambi bias" ( Dramatic music - "Man is in the woods.") and feel that man can only harm wildlife and that management should always seek to return it to pristine, then we will have more of these "improvement" actions. I happen to think that man can do a number of really good things for wildlife (like fresh water flooding) that while artificial is beneficial both to the ducks and to recreation. Just ask the clubs, or look at the forest land that has been turned into farmland. Funny how they don't want to return that back to forest. It is a shame but what the Nisqually was is not coming back no amount of information etc. will change that. Glad I got to see it for a couple of years prior to the "improvement". The best you can hope to do now is produce a cautionary tale for the next dike system they want to remove, and try and purchase the farmland when the farmers get old and their children have left the farm, otherwise we will see more of the same. Folks in Oregon are probably going to be happy though as ducks pop from Skagit to the Willamette valley in one overnight hop. Best of luck with your project.