Restoring imperiled grassland wildlife through grazing innovation in the eastern United States

Grants and Contracts Details


Year 1 (prior to Sept 30, 2012): Four pastures of approximately 20 or more acres each shall be established at the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability in a blend of6:3:1 of big bluestem, indiangrass, and little bluestem, respectively. Seedbed preparation shall include removal of brush, leveling and smoothing, spraying weeds (i.e., sericea Jespedeza) such that sowing is possible by early June, 2012. Post-planting weed control is critical to establishment success; so regardless of what weed species are involved, corrective action must be taken if at any point the weed canopy threatens to get above the seedlings. Every reasonable effort shall be made to ensure a good production-quality stand (>1 plantf2 square feet density) is established in 2012. Fencing shall be installed that will protect the seedlings from damage from wildlife and that will keep cattle from leaving the designated pastures. Five-strand high-tensile with electric on at least two wires or a fence of equivalent quality will meet this criteria. A water source capable of providing clean water for up to 25,000 lb of beef animals per pasture shall be installed. Year Two (Oct 1, 2012 - Sept 30, 2013) Encroachment of broad leaf we eds, cool-season perennial grasses,johnsongrass, and other competition shall be controlled on an as-needed basis and in consultation with the project PIs. Ifreseeding is required to achieve the target density, that will be done during March - May, 2013. Fencing shall be maintained to protect the developing stand from wildlife. Year Three (Oct 1, 2013 - Sept 30, 2014) A randomly selected portion of two pastures (to be designated later) encompassing approximately 113 of the pasture shall be burned between March 20 and April 10, 2014. Following burning, grazing shall be initiated on all pastures based on stage of grass growth. It is anticipated that the two unburned pastures will be grazed under a rotational approach. Regardless, the pastures will be grazed based on guidelines developed by the project PIs. Stocking rate will be approximately 2 steers or one cow-calf pair per acre. Actual animal class to be used in grazing will be detennined by the project PIs. Grass condition shall be monitored regularly (once per week) throughout the summer. Grazing may be terminated if grass condition/forage availability is too low, but could continue as late as August 25th • Any detelmination regarding grazing cessation shall be made in consultation with the project director. Adequate water shall be provided for cattle throughout the grazing period. Fencing shall be maintained throughout the grazing period. Cattle condition, health and perfonnance will be monitored regularly. Weights are to be taken at the start of the grazing period, once per 30 days during the summer and at the conclusion of grazing for the season. UK will host a field day during May- July. 2014 at the project site. UK will support a prescribed fire workshop to be conducted through the Kentucky Department ofFish and Wildlife Resources under the auspices of thiS same grant. UK will support the development of technical publications based on the experience of and information derived from the project. UK shall support project-wide data collection and monitoring efforts through providing access to project field crews and will share any project-related data with project partners and PIs. UK PIs will be recognized on any technical or scientific publicat.ions resulting from the project.
Effective start/end date9/15/119/30/15


  • University of Tennessee: $79,901.00


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