For most residents it was simply the Swamp - about a square mile of marsh land three miles southwest of town.

But following dedicatory exercises last week, it gained a much more elegant name - it's Manti Meadows Waterfowl Management area. It will be developed as a prime Utah waterfowl habitat.More than a half century ago William Anderson and his son, Milton, acquired the 450 acres - some of it wetland, some small hillocks - for their herd of beef cattle.

To augment the water from the runoff and a few springs, they built dikes and a few small ponds to provide better water management. The late Donnell Anderson, grandson of William and son of Milton, carried on the program they had started.

He enjoying driving over the land to see the thousands of ducks and hundreds of geese that stopped over during their migratory flight. In milder winters some even stayed.

Before Donnell Anderson's recent death, Utah Wildlife Resources purchased the acres for about $128,000. Money from Federal Aid in Waterfowl Restoration paid 75 percent of the bill. Ducks Unlimited contributed $16,000. And the rest came from Utah duck stamp money.

In his keynote address at the dedicatory program, Dee C. Hansen, director of the Utah State Department of Natural Resources, said flooding of the 1980s had destroyed much of the state's prime waterfowl habitat.

"The swelling Great Salt Lake has swallowed up nearly a million acres of choice wetland," he said.

"But with financial support from Ducks Unlimited; the Utah duck stamp sales; and the federal aid program; the future looks a little bit brighter for Utah waterfowl," Hansen said.

And one reason for the brighter outlook, he added, is the acquisition of the Manti Meadows wetland. "Since it freezes in late fall and thaws in early spring, it provides critical feeding, nesting and resting habitat for migrating waterfowl," he said.

Plans for the area, according to Brent K. Hutchings, Utah Wildlife Resources habitat specialist, include clearing away fences and corrals used in the Andersons' livestock operation; developing a water management program that will maintain the supply; removing some of the undesirable shrubs like greasewood; and reseeding and replanting grasses and shrubs that will provide better waterfowl habitat.

"We'll plant the wild roses and Russian olives, millet, and sunflowers and some of the alkali resistant grasses," Hutchings said. "Our plantings will provide both food and shelter for the waterfowl."