Next Article in Journal
Sustainable, Full-Scope Nuclear Fission Energy at Planetary Scale
Next Article in Special Issue
Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) Removal in the Western United States: Multi-Site Findings and Considerations for Future Research
Previous Article in Journal
Evaluating Sustainability and Democracy in the Development of Industrial Port Cities: Some Italian Cases
Previous Article in Special Issue
Riparian Forest Restoration: Conflicting Goals, Trade-Offs, and Measures of Success
Open AccessArticle

Talking Big: Lessons Learned from a 9000 Hectare Restoration in the Northern Tallgrass Prairie

The Nature Conservancy and University of North Dakota, 81 Cornell Street Stop 8358, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
The Nature Conservancy, 394 Lake Avenue S., Suite 308, Duluth, MN 55802, USA
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 31077 State Hwy 32 S., Mentor, MN 56736, USA
The Nature Conservancy, 414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2012, 4(11), 3066-3087;
Received: 28 August 2012 / Revised: 6 November 2012 / Accepted: 6 November 2012 / Published: 13 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration)
Large tracts (>1000 ha) of prairie are essential to the sustainability of grassland ecosystem services, yet in many ecoregions only small fragments remain. Glacial Ridge is among the largest prairie-wetland restorations ever attempted. Started in 2000, the 9000 ha project in northwest Minnesota, USA, was initiated to reconnect 14 small tallgrass prairie remnants. In all, 15,200 ha of contiguous habitat comprise the project's direct accomplishment. We created a partnership of more than 30 organizations, filled 177 km of drainage ditch, restored 1240 ha of wetland, and replanted 8100 ha. Flooding has been mitigated, water quality improved, and native vegetation reestablished. Animals not documented for decades have again occupied the site. Despite these accomplishments, the project would have been unnecessary if the land had been purchased in the 1970s, prior to conversion to agriculture, at one-tenth the restoration cost. Our challenges related to funding, differences in partners' restoration philosophy, community concerns about floods and tax losses, difficulties in obtaining seed, and follow-up management of invasive weeds. We summarize the restoration process and share basic principles that will help others to develop large-scale prairie restoration projects in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: grassland; land-use management; conservation; landscape ecology; restoration; prairie grassland; land-use management; conservation; landscape ecology; restoration; prairie
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Gerla, P.J.; Cornett, M.W.; Ekstein, J.D.; Ahlering, M.A. Talking Big: Lessons Learned from a 9000 Hectare Restoration in the Northern Tallgrass Prairie. Sustainability 2012, 4, 3066-3087.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop