On the Radio: Native habitat to be restored


The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Monroe, Iowa, features over 5,000 acres of native prairie. (Rachel Gardner / Flickr)
The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Monroe, Iowa, features over 5,000 acres of native prairie. (Rachel Gardner / Flickr)
January 12, 2015

This week’s On the Radio segment looks at an upcoming prairie restoration taking place in northwest Iowa. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

A native habitat that once covered northwestern Iowa is being partially restored.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The bur oak savanna, a plant community of open-grown trees, tall prairie grasses and water fowl, once flourished in northwest Iowa. The introduction of new plant species, particularly high shade-producing trees, has choked out native plant growth and reduced the savanna’s size to one one-hundredth of a percent of its original size.

To conserve this native habitat near Trumbull Lake in Clay County, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be removing non-compatible trees which outcompete younger oaks and shade out the prairie understory. The DNR will also be conducting controlled burns. Studies have shown that these measures are the most effective ways of restoring grassland habitats and species to the area. These native plant species are an important factor in maximizing water quality benefits for the area.

For more information about native habitats, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

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