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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: The Duralde Prairie restoration project, Cajun Prairie on a federal refuge
Year: 2002
Author(s): Allen, C. M., Grafe, V.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 114-116
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Cajun Prairie once covered 2.5 million acres in southwest Louisiana but has been reduced by agricultural practices (tillage) to less than 100 acres in small, disjunct remnant strips along railroad rights of way. The Duralde Project was started in 1994 on abandoned agricultural land that was densely covered with a stand of Chinese tallow trees. The US Fish and Wildlife Service obtained the land and initiated a Cajun Prairie Restoration Project. The thousands of tallow trees were removed and the land disced. The 334-acre tract is used as an experimental area for Cajun Prairie Restoration and also as a refugium for Cajun Prairie species. About 90 acres was seeded with commercial seeds of big bluestem, switchgrass, indiangrass, and eastern gamagrass. The eastern gamagrass and switchgrass are now dominating with a few scattered clumps of the other species. About 224 acres of the refuge were planted with seeds harvested from a native prairie in Texas and small areas on the refuge have been seeded with Cajun Prairie Seeds. Plugs of Cajun Prairie have been transplanted into small areas across the refuge. Several monitoring projects are ongoing including the time of year for planting seed with preliminary results indicating December as the best followed by February and with May the worst. Monocultural seed plots were planted in November 2001 using about 50 Cajun Prairie forb species. The site is burned annually and spot herbicide application is used to control the tallow trees.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall