posted on May, 11 2019 @ 07:30 AM
a reply to: TheRedneck
I used to collect prairie grass and wildflower seed and have planted them on the utility easement because it was the most open area on the property.
However, the property is, and probably has been, a hardwoods swamp and because fire is essential and I never burned it, that area has never done well
as "prairie" after almost 20 years. I think that this property should be a mature hardwoods consisting primarily of maple, red oak, beech and hemlock
spruce on the north and white oak and white pine on the south with swamp white oak in the wet areas.
I have what I have and will work with that, but just a couple miles down the road is what used to be prairie habitat. A little further west and north
is the main prairie area that became a dust bowl "desert". I had attended the first meeting where they discussed prairie restoration and management of
that region. They were intent on ordering plants from outside the area, likely Illinois, while I had advocated using locally collected seed (an idea
they dismissed out of hand IMO). I'm not sure what they ended up doing, but I don't think they have ever even burned that area yet and that was the
best idea presented at that meeting. Typical of how management of natural resources happens unfortunately. They have their "textbook" plan with their
limited "newbie" ideas, but it really needs deeper research into the original local ecosystem and advice from people who know how it should actually
proceed. I think I was far more versed in the situation they ever would be and my comments were basically tossed aside during that first meeting, so I
gave up on them. I was even a guest on a local public TV station on the subject of prairie restoration in Michigan and added some good insights to
what the other guest, an academic expert on tallgrass prairies had to say about the basics of restoration.
There is some public land near there where the U.S. forest service did burn over some 10 years ago and it helped for a couple of years, but it needs
to be burned again because it is growing over with trees. The best I could do is collect seed locally and sow it in the areas they are working on, but
if I did that they would likely say, "see our management is working!" and I don't know if doing that is even legal in their eyes.
I plan on eventually starting a small nursery to grow and sell local native plants. Maybe it will become a go to source of local variety prairie
plants someday. That would seem to be the best idea to help the local habitat regenerate or at least provide a small source of local species that has
a place until I die.
All I can say is you're right about how people think they know what they are doing and then go forward with a management plan that is less than
optimal. These plans are usually formed by a number of people and funding sources that often have other ideas and interests in mind outside of what is
actually the best plan going forward. So compromises are made and many times the effort slows down or eventually gets abandoned.
11-5-2019 by MichiganSwampBuck because: For Clarity
edit on 11-5-2019 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Typo