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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Native grassland restoration in the Black Belt Region of Mississippi and Alabama: Current efforts and barriers to implementation
Year: 2010
Author(s): Coggin, D., Gruchy, J.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 21
Original Publication:  
Abstract: The Black Belt Region of Mississippi and Alabama once included more than 350,000 acres of native grasslands. Many of the native grasslands in the region have been converted to production agriculture, pine plantations or significantly degraded by the presence of non-native grasses and invasive native woody plants. Remnant grassland sites are scattered across the region, most of which are no greater than 10 20 acres in size. Over the past several decades, grasslands in the Black Belt region have gained minor interest from the scientific community; however, no formal effort had been made at restoration. In 2004, Wildlife Mississippi, in cooperation with state and federal partners, began the Blackland Prairie Restoration Initiative, which sought to restore, enhance and protect native prairie habitat within Blackland Prairie Region of Mississippi and Alabama. Recently, the initiative was granted a conservation practice under the Conservation Reserve Program. Currently, approximately 8,000 acres have been restored and or enhanced under the initiative with several more projects underway. Restoration efforts are constantly evolving based on information gained in the field and through research projects. Barriers to native grassland restoration in the Black Belt include difficulty eliminating non-native grasses and woody plants during establishment, associated costs, and difficulty working with constraints in existing programs.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper