Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Chicago Office Cooperates with Forest Preserve District on Habitat Restoration Benefiting Multiple Endangered Species
Midwest Region, February 13, 2014
Print Friendly Version
Lockport Prairie East before the clearing was degraded by the encroachment of non-native invasive species like buckthorn.
Lockport Prairie East before the clearing was degraded by the encroachment of non-native invasive species like buckthorn. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest Preserve District of Will County
After the first year, native species like prairie blazing star returned to the previously degraded areas.
After the first year, native species like prairie blazing star returned to the previously degraded areas. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest Preserve District of Will County
Nodding onion, a native species, returned after the restoration.
Nodding onion, a native species, returned after the restoration. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest Preserve District of Will County
Two years after the initial work began, a diversity of native plants emerged from the seed bank.
Two years after the initial work began, a diversity of native plants emerged from the seed bank. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest preserve District of Will County

A cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Preserve District of Will County to restore globally rare ecosystems has benefitted multiple state and federally endangered species. Dolomite prairies and fens at Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve and Lockport Prairie East, located in Will County, Illinois, provide habitat for the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly, Lakeside daisy, and leafy prairie clover and state endangered Blanding’s and spotted turtles. The preserves, totaling 486 acres, contain seeps, sedge meadows and wet dolomite prairies on the east and west sides of the Des Plaines River Valley.

 

The habitat restoration project was designed to improve habitat suitability for the endangered species. A major project objective was to remove invasive trees and brush from Lockport Prairie East  to reestablish native dolomite prairie communities and restore appropriate hydrologic conditions. At both preserves, control of invasive herbaceous species such as Phragmites is being implemented to protect and improve suitable habitat features. Restoration activities include removing invasive shrubs, controlling shrub re-sprouts and new seedlings, treating invasive herbaceous species, and establishing a native, grass-dominated matrix that can be maintained with prescribed fire.

The USFWS grant was complemented by funding provided by the Habitat Conservation Plan Partners (Commonwealth Edison and Hanson Material Service), the Lockport Township Park District, and the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

The following is a narrative of project objectives and accomplishments.
Objective 1: Remove invasive brush and trees from Lockport Prairie East, to allow native dolomite prairie communities to re-establish and restore appropriate hydrologic conditions, thereby expanding and buffering suitable habitat for the listed species.
Accomplishments with grant funds and match: Removal of invasive shrubs and trees (30 acres). Seeded native early successional species (10 acres) to promote native cover and deter weed establishment in recently cleared ground. A follow-up foliar herbicide treatment to invasive shrub re-sprouts and seedlings (30 acres).
Objective 2: Control invasive herbaceous species that threaten the native species diversity of critical habitat for leafy prairie clover and Hine's emerald dragonfly. Promote habitat integrity through prescribed fire management.
Accomplishments with grant funds and match: Prescribed burn in Lockport Prairie East south unit (75 acres). Prescribed burn in the north unit (55 acres). Selective herbicide treatment of Phragmites (2 acres), reed canary grass (15 acres), and upland weeds (sweet clover, teasel, spotted knapweed, crown vetch; 21 acres) at Lockwood Prairie East between May and November in 2012, and between May and November in 2013. Prescribed burn in Lockport Prairie, N:S unit (87 acres). Prescribed burn in Lockport Prairie, S:E unit (51 acres). Selective herbicide treatment of Phragmites (8 acres), garden loosestrife (3 acres), and scattered individuals of other invasive species such as reed canary grass, field thistle, sweet clover, and teasel (104 acres) at Lockport Prairie.


Contact Info: Kristopher Lah, (847) 381-2253 ext.15, Kristopher_Lah@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer