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Wildlife Habitat

Solutions: Acreages

Home | Key to Life | Wildlife Cover | Solutions | Planting |

There are 4 areas of consideration when dealing with solutions: acreages, Farm Ponds, Shelter Belts and Yards.

Rural acreages offer excellent potential for wildlife production. The small, diversified plots of five to 20-plus acres automatically attract wildlife, although there is the adverse factor of dogs left to run at will to defeat the purpose.

If pets are controlled, a series of small ownerships can be a rich environment. Buildings, lawns, shrubs, trees, even occasional lagoons, orchards, woodlots and other plantings, all appeal to some wildlife species, and certainly can sustain many. Commercial seeds or seedlings can be purchased, while squirrels and birds will plant many future trees. Wild flowers,grasses willows, cottonwoods even cattails and reeds, will be valuable and attractive. Nearly anything the owner desires to plant will be a positive addition, but nature can help, too. Wild seedlings of cedar, plum, chokecherry and elderberry can be "captured" and transplanted.

Food plots may be added, using either typical farm crops or special seed mixtures. Driveway or building screens, tree or shrub rows, living snow fences, will add not only privacy and quiet and protection, but habitat. Some could be fruit and nut varietie for both human and animal use. Grass management also has great potential. If you have no trees or only young ones, habitat can be quickly provided by grasses and other nonwoody plants. But, avoid monoculture of a single grass, too. Make patches of different species, including some drought-resistant prairie grasses.

Sound and practical advice is to ease off on your fight against weeds. Many so-called weeds are forbs of particular value to wildlife. Even if weeds must be removed, consider doing only a portion of them at any time, say half or a third, leaving the remainder for displaced birds. When dealing with a woodlot or riverbottom patch for firewood, practice selective cutting, leave den trees if at all possible, pile trimmings into brush "mounds."

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