Prairie Management Resurces for Managing Your Prairie Remnant

The management of the prairie is critically important for the survival of the prairie ecosystem today. Vast landscape and ecological changes and cessation of natural processes have made it necessary for humans to apply, to the best of their knowledge, management practices that may have occurred naturally.

It is speculated that humankind has been managing the prairie for thousands of years. Native Americans would routinely burn the prairie in the for easy nomadic passage and to bring Bison to the newly greening prairie.

Today, people are trying to preserve Native Prairie Remnants through protection efforts and the proper management. People are also trying to re-create prairies with Prairie Plantings, also called Prairie Reconstructions. These two are very different things. A remnant is an ecosystem of plants, animals, insects, soil, fungi, and other living things that have formed a web of interdependence. A reconstruction is usually a planting of a small number of prairie plants that once existed in a prairie, and can be, but isn't always, a good genetic pool of local-ecotype plants. While important, reconstructions are not the same as remnants, as they most often do not contain the same biological components or diversity of a true prairie. They may in time, with the proper management, develop those biological interactions, but, they must be treated differently in regards to management initially.

Resources

  • Bibliography – Books on a variety of topics about the Prairie.
  • Fire – Prairies flourish under the flames, learn why fire is important, and how to properly apply it to your prairie remnant or prairie planting.
  • Guidelines for Selecting Local Ecotype Seed and Plants – For prairie plantings and ornamental plantings
  • Invasive Species – Learn how to control invasive species on your land.
  • Native Prairie Management Guide – a handbook by IPN's Ray Hamilton on how to manage your prairie remnant.
  • Prairie Reconstruction Guide - A guide on how to plan and carry out a prairie planting.
  • Seed Stratification – If you collect your own seed, here is how to condition your prairie seeds before you grow them.