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Touch the Sky Native Prairie Enhancement


The purpose of this project is to enhance native prairie on Touch the Sky Prairie of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge which was established to conserve, restore and enhance the fragmented northern tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Touch the Sky Prairie contains areas of degraded native prairie because it was intensively grazed and these areas became infested with invasive species. These areas have not responded to management treatments like prescribed fire, so to enhance these areas, we are proposing to inter-seed these areas with local eco-type seed. This project will also enhance native prairie on Touch the Sky Prairie by controlling invasive species throughout the unit. As previously mention the prairie was intensively grazed and infested with invasive species. These invasive plants severely threaten biodiversity, habitat quality and ecosystem functions of the prairie. The unit has responded to invasive species control efforts but this is an ongoing process and because of the rock outcrops and rough terrain the process is very labor intensive and requires hand treatments with smaller equipment. This project will hire a crew and purchase chemical to spot treat invasive species. Approximately 400 acres will be treated. The goal of this project is to increase native plant species diversity, reduce non-native species through competition, improve grassland habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects through increased forbs and grass diversity, maintain a strict local origin seed base to ensure restoration to near “pre-settlement” conditions. This will greatly enhance the attractiveness of this site to grassland birds such as the pheasant, bobolink, meadowlark and upland sandpiper.

Program Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program

Status Completed

Dates 05/13/2014 - 06/30/2015

Project Manager Chad Bloom

Grant Recipient Pheasants Forever Inc

Grant Recipient Type Non-Profit Business/Entity

Primary Funding Source(s) Outdoor Heritage Fund

Grant Amount $49,988

Expended $39,250

Statutory Reference M.L. 2016, Chp. 172, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 5(K)

Management Unit(s) Federal

Habitat(s) Prairie

Activity Type(s) Restoration/Enhancement

Primary County Rock


Latest Indicator Number of acres enhanced

Target 400 Acres

Measurement 480 Acres