Nine conservation practices for wildlife
Whether it’s in your back yard, on small acreage, or a large farm, most soil and water conservation practices you put on your land have some benefit to wildlife. But if you really want to see more wildlife as a result of your conservation work, you need to think about the impact you have on wildlife with every step you take to manage your land. The conservationist you work with can help you meet your goals to increase wildlife habitat. Case in point: common cool season grasses are often easiest and least expensive to get good ground cover to control soil erosion. But some cool season grasses have little value to wildlife–a conservationist who knows you have an interest in wildlife will more likely recommend using native plants. The increased cost of using native grasses may be offset by higher rates of cost-share from the federal government, or help from one of a number of local conservation and wildlife groups. Here are nine conservation practices to consider for improving wildlife habitat:
1) Use native grasses and forbs.
2) Place wildlife plantings near water.
3) Use plants that offer food and important cover for wildlife.
4) Use a variety of grasses, trees and shrubs.
5) Use farming practices that maintain existing habitat.
6) Use grasses, trees and shrubs in conservation buffers.
7) Use No-till planting for residue cover for small birds in the winter.
8) Use more rows, wider and longer, in windbreaks.
9) Plant blocks of native grasses and forbs between wetlands and crop fields to give grassland birds nesting and cold weather cover.
For more information, stop by the Delta Conservation District office at 690 Industrial Blvd., in the Delta Industrial Park on Highway 92 or visit the NRCS Wildlife Habitat Management Institute’s website at http://www.wInni.nrcs.usda.gov or the NRCS home web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov. Thank you for conserving our natural resources- the Delta Conservation District, http://www.deltacd.net.
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.