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Background information. In the late 1800s through the early 1900s, nearly all of the area that is now the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (Crab Orchard NWR) was either logged for timber or cleared and converted to other uses, particularly agriculture. By the 1930s, soils in the area were depleted and severely eroded. Additional clearing and development ensued with the establishment of the Illinois Ordnance Plant during World War II. In 2014, as part of the effort to restore Crab Orchard NWR lands to benefit wildlife, the refuge undertook the Hampton native prairie restoration project to convert a 62-acre nonnative cool-season hay field into a native warm-season grassland. The primary benefit of this restoration...
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The best hope for recovering and maintaining ecosystem function and services for the tallgrass prairie ecosystem is reconstruction. To that end, tallgrass prairie reconstruction efforts are on-going across federal, state, and non-profit organizations and among private landowners throughout the upper Midwest. Despite this heightened activity, a framework for comprehensive evaluation and adaptive learning from past reconstruction efforts is lacking. With an increasing percentage of already limited natural resource budgets being applied to reconstruction activities, it is imperative that we make the best use of these funds by developing best practices for reconstructions. The growing number of completed reconstructions...
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The Agassiz Beach Ridges landscape is located in the Red River watershed of northwestern Minnesota and falls and is within the larger Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). The PPR has been identified as being responsible for producing 50–80 percent of the continent’s waterfowl while accounting for only 10% of the available breeding habitat. It is estimated that less than 1% of Minnesota’s historic native prairie remains intact, with much of the remnant prairie scattered about in small clusters. Restoration of key sites within this landscape has been identified as the most important strategy to create a contiguous expanse of prairie/wetland mosaic and improve the ecological functioning of these systems. In the fall of...
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Proposal narrative and preliminary fact sheet for this project to improve the practice of prairie reconstruction by developing criteria by which success can be measured and related to reconstruction methodology. To accomplish this goal, the project will utilize past reconstruction efforts and records for two of the largest tallgrass prairie reconstructions in North America, Neal Smith National wildlife Refuge near Des Moines, Iowa and Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge near Crookston, Minnesota. The extensive size, prolonged timeline, and records of seeding practices and site management that were kept for the reconstructions at these two refuges provide an ideal resource for evaluating which factors best predict...
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There is growing interest in the facilitated movement of plants as a means of conserving or restoring species and habitats, as climate conditions and management goals change. For example, plants might be relocated to support pollinator conservation or the restoration of prairies. Some land managers, in an effort to be proactive in the face of changing environmental conditions, are also considering relocating plants to sites that are considered more similar to anticipated future conditions. However, moving plants can be ecologically and economically risky. It’s possible that pests, pathogens, or contaminant weeds can be inadvertently moved along with the target plant material. In 2016, the noxious weed Palmer amaranth...


    map background search result map search result map Developing a Framework for Evaluating Tallgrass Prairie Reconstruction Methods and Management Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge NRDAR Prairie Restoration Glacial Ridge Prairie and Wetland Restoration Framework for Evaluating Prairie Reconstruction Methods proposal and fact sheet Relocating Plants for Conservation and Restoration: Developing a Risk Assessment Framework Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge NRDAR Prairie Restoration Glacial Ridge Prairie and Wetland Restoration Relocating Plants for Conservation and Restoration: Developing a Risk Assessment Framework Developing a Framework for Evaluating Tallgrass Prairie Reconstruction Methods and Management Framework for Evaluating Prairie Reconstruction Methods proposal and fact sheet