Register for the 2017 Grassland Restoration Network Now!

This year’s Grassland Restoration Network meeting will be July 11 and 12 at Konza Prairie near Manhattan, Kansas.  Some of you have attended these annual meetings in the past (we hosted last year’s meeting here at the Platte River Prairies in Nebraska).  For those of you who haven’t, they are informal meetings where we visit a site and learn about the challenges and successes of conducting prairie restoration work, especially in the context of using restoration as a conservation strategy.  My favorite aspect of the meetings is that they allow a lot of time to talk with people grappling with the same kinds of issues we are, and I always come away with new ideas and energy.

These research plots at Konza show a pretty stark difference between a couple different fire frequency treatments…

This year’s meeting will be a little different than most.  We will be hearing from scientists working with the Konza Long Term Ecological Research site on a variety of topics that will relate both to prairie restoration and to prairie conservation and ecology more broadly.  I’m sure we’ll have vigorous discussions about how to apply what they’re learning across various geographies.  Some of their research focuses specifically on restoring grasslands through seeding, but we’ll also talk about woody invasion, the impacts of fire and grazing on prairies, and much more.  However, we will still provide plenty of time for conversation about what each of us is learning at our own sites in terms of seeding rates, invasive species challenges, monitoring, and long-term management.

If you’re interested in joining us, you can find more information on the agenda and registration procedure HERE.  I hope to see you there!

I visited Konza Prairie a few years ago with our Hubbard Fellows and wrote three blog posts about some of our discussions, which I found fascinating.  You can revisit those by following the links below:

Post #1

Post #2

Post #3

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
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