This IBA consists of bottomland Hardwood forests
and sand bars along the Missouri River in the Pierre-Fort Pierre area. Most of
the area is managed as public lands in Farm Island. LaFramboise, and Oahe
Downstream State Recreation Areas, which are heavily used as outdoor recreation
by residents of the area. has dense
cottonwood and deciduous forest, with cedars and willow underbrush, ponds and
meadows. Water levels are changed periodically for reservoir management
purposes, which changes the mix of species here.
With water levels mostly controlled, invasive
Red Cedar has taken over large sections of understory in the former floodplain.
In addition, without the natural flood cycle, cottonwoods are not regenerating
and the forest is converting to a Green Ash-American Elm-Box Elder forest with
a thick Red Cedar understory. Encroaching urbanization and related large
numbers of visitors is decreasing the quality of the forest for species
sensitive to disturbance or patch size.
The area is extremely popular for jogging and walking dogs that
generally are not kept on leashes.
All of the area is under state ownership as
state recreation areas or game production areas