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Louisville Swamp Savanna Enhancement


The oak savanna habitat, which was widespread and occupied nearly 50% of the Midwest's landscape, has been diminished to approximately 0.02% of what existed pre-European settlement; making oak savannas one the rarest and most threatened habitats in the United States. The encroachment of many exotic species into the oak savanna, such as black locust, Siberian elm, and European buckthorn, has greatly affected the natural processes of the habitat. In both habitats, the losses have resulted in profound negative impacts on the populations and diversity of wildlife and plant species. Oak savanna is a mosaic plant community with multiple successions from open grasslands to mature oak forests, which provides a large structural diversity to support a wide range of species. In order to maintain that mosaic a reliable disturbance is needed. Historically, there were two main sources of disturbance on the landscape, fire and grazing. Unfortunately, once these invasive species have become established it takes a significant amount of resources to restore there ecological function. The plan for this project would be to target non-desirable species within the Louisville Swamp Unit of MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge with repetitive mechanical treatments and a follow-up prescribed burn. After multiple years of treatments, to diminish seed bank return, natural disturbance regimes will be utilized in in enhancing and restoring these habitats.

Program Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program (Metro)

Status In Progress

Dates 02/23/2016 - 06/30/2018

Project Manager Rick Horton

Grant Recipient National Wild Turkey Federation

Grant Recipient Type Non-Profit Business/Entity

Primary Funding Source(s) Outdoor Heritage Fund

Grant Amount $50,000

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 Scott


Latest Indicator Number of acres enhanced

Target 200 Acres

Measurement N/A