Tag Archives: grassland

Making Smart Assumptions about Prairie Management

Some people say it’s dangerous to make assumptions.  I disagree.  In fact, assumptions are both necessary and empowering.  Land managers make assumptions all the time.  If we didn’t, we’d never get anything done. Assumptions are only dangerous when they are … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Photo of the Week – November 7, 2014

It’s been a busy week, capped off by two days helping staff and volunteers with a bison roundup at The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve.  The bison in the Preserve’s two herds are pretty much left alone all year except … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – October 23, 2014

I needed a walk in the prairie the other evening.  There are times when I just need to change focus and think about something besides my own life, and hiking through a grassland is the perfect tonic. Our family prairie … Continue reading

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So Similar, Yet So Different

It’s wrong to assume that successful restoration or management tactics from one prairie will work in another.  Instead, every prairie has its own “personality” and responds accordingly.  The key to success is experimentation and adaptive management. Bill Kleiman is one … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Photo of the Week – October 3, 2014

I made my first ever visit to The Nature Conservancy’s Smoky Valley Ranch in western Kansas this week.  It won’t be my last.  Situated along the boundary between mixed-grass and shortgrass prairie, the Smoky Valley Ranch contains 16,800 acres of … Continue reading

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Our New Mechanical Seed Harvester

Seed harvest is a big part of our work here at the Platte River Prairies.  We don’t do as much complete restoration (converting cropland to high-diversity prairie) as we used to because we’ve just about run out of land to … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 18, 2014

I’m writing this from The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve in north-central Nebraska, where I’m attending a prescribed fire planning workshop.  The weather up here is beautiful, and the prairies are already wearing their autumn colors.  The most conspicuous color … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 12, 2014

It’s grasshopper season! By the end of summer, most grasshoppers have completed their five or so molts and have become adults – complete with functional wings.   Now, as we walk and drive through our prairies, these fully-formed adult grasshoppers … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Photo of the Week – September 4, 2014

It’s not often the wind is calm enough to get a good sharp photo of a spider in its web, but everything came together nicely late last week as I walked around one of our restored wetlands.  There were a … Continue reading

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Konza Prairie Trip Part 2 – Tree and Shrub Encroachment

A couple years ago, I wrote about some work from Kansas State University related to woody plant expansion in prairies.  Many of us who work with prairies constantly wrestle with questions about trees in prairies. Why are they encroaching so … Continue reading

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