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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Establishing native warm-season grasses to improve wildlife habitat on a landscape scale: The Pennsylvania Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
Year: 2002
Author(s): Klinger, S.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 133
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Over the past 30 years grassland bird populations have declined over 80% across southeastern Pennsylvania. As agricultural land has been lost to development, the intensity of framing increases on remaining agricultural lands. As a result, undisturbed grassland nesting cover has become an endangered habitat. The value of native warm season grasses for grassland bird nesting and winter cover has been well documented. Unfortunately, in the Northeast, farmers have been slow to adopt NWSG. During 2001, 2002, and 2003 a public and private partnership in Pennsylvania has the potential to establish over 25,000 acres of NWSG in 20 southeastern Pennsylvania counties through 10-15 year contracts under Pennsylvania’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (PA CREP). One of the objectives of the PA CREP is to restore grassland habitats and declining grassland wildlife populations in the region. In addition to annual rental payments for 10-15 years, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the State of Pennsylvania provide 100% reimbursement for establishing NWSG. Establishing NWSG on approximately 1,500 Pennsylvanian farms will more than triple than acres of NWSG established during the past 20 years. A variety of methods are being used to educate landowners, custom operators, and agency and non-government organization staffs in the establishment and management of NWSG. Soil amendment recommendations for establishing NWSG were modified by Penn State University and USDA. The Pennsylvania Game Commission has provided 18 NWSG fluffy-seed drills to the 20 county partnership, plus an incentive payment for their cooperators. Custom operators are also sowing mixtures of de-bearded NWSG seed with modified conventional drills. Single species of NWSG, NWSG mixtures, and mixtures of NWSG and forbs are being sown. Native warm-season grasses are primarily being established in row crop and small grain residues, but also in some hay land.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall