Tag Archives: evaluation

Color, Movement and Noise

A couple months ago, I wrote a post asking you how you evaluate your prairies as you walk around them.  I appreciated the thoughtful responses you shared.  This week, I’ll be facilitating a discussion on the same topic at the … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

How Do You Evaluate Your Prairie?

The most challenging aspect of prairie management may be evaluating what’s happening on the land and what to do about it.  What should you focus on as you walk around a prairie?  Which plant species can tell you the most … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Just When I Think I’ve Got Something Figured Out…

I pay close attention as I walk through prairies.  I watch for tracks to see what animals are around and I notice which flowers are blooming and which insects are feeding on them.  Often, I notice changes in prairie plant communities and try to attribute them to our management treatments, weather … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Assessing Prairie Restoration Through the Eyes of Small Mammals – Part 1

We’ve taken another step in the right direction… Over the last several years, we’ve begun to evaluate our prairie restoration work beyond just looking at plant communities.  Our primary objective for restoration is to functionally enlarge and reconnect fragmented remnant (unplowed) prairies by restoring the land … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Wildfire Recovery at The Niobrara Valley Preserve – Asking The Big Questions

Most of you are familiar with the wildfire that affected our Niobrara Valley Preserve this summer.  Well, we’re still trying to regain our footing after that event.  A great deal of time and money has already been spent on rebuilding … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Ants in Restored Prairie – Part 2 of our 2012 Insect Week Results

As promised, here is the second half of the results from our insect week back in July.  Back in September, I reported that it appears bees are using our restored prairies much as they do our remnant prairies.  That’s particularly important because our … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Quantifying the Value of Plant Diversity

Why is plant diversity important?  I can come up with lots of reasons, including the value to pollinators, correlations between plant and insect diversity, and contributions to ecological resilience – among others.   But it’s much more difficult to quantify the specific functional differences between high-diversity and low-diversity … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Value of a Good Field Notebook

One of the most powerful tools of a prairie manager is a field notebook.  There’s no substitute for recording observations and ideas as they happen.  Memories can fade, but notes don’t (as long as you don’t drop them in a … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

An Early Attempt to Evaluate Prairie Restoration Success by Looking at Insect Use.

Back in February, I wrote a post that laid out some ideas about how to measure success when using prairie restoration (reconstruction) to stitch fragmented remnant prairies back together.  One of the main needs is to see whether species from the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

When is a Prairie Restoration (Reconstruction) Project Successful?

This is a follow-up to last week’s post on using prairie restoration to enlarge and reconnect remnant prairies.  In this week’s post, I present a case study of a remnant sand prairie and an adjacent prairie restoration, and give thoughts … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments