Why You Should Visit
Local residents used to call this area the Valley of the Moon. Its scenery is stark with wide-open vistas. It is nearly treeless, consisting of gently rolling grasslands with numerous wetlands and large alkali lakes. The preserve was part of a large eastward-flowing river valley in pre-glacial times, but after the continental glaciers receded the area was left with a cover of sand, gravel, and other glacial drift materials. Numerous prairie pothole wetlands and lakes were also a legacy of the glaciers. Because of water flow and the geologic substrate, some of the lakes are quite alkaline, especially in dry years. Along some parts of the lakes, rocky and salty beaches have formed. These wetlands, lakes, and beaches are what make the Williams preserve important, especially for the animals and plants that utilize those habitats.
Why TNC Selected This Site
TNC targeted this area for acquisition primarily to protect the breeding population of piping plovers. Also of interest was the area's value as a migratory stopover for sandhill cranes and other waterfowl.