Many upland areas on WPAs were in cropland when acquired by the Fish and Wildlife Service. See the reseeding section for information about upland restoration. Once grassland is established, management is done to keep grasslands in an early succession state so lands do not become forested. Fire and grazing have proven to be effective at maintaining plant communities that resemble mixed or tall grass prairie. WPA lands left idle become invaded with non-native, cool-season grasses and trees. Fire historically occurred every 3 to 5 years in tall grass prairie and 5 to 7 years in mixed grass.
A variety of land management practices are used and are addressed individually on this website. Often, a combination of two or more practices are used to obtain the optimum results. For example, prescribed fire--followed by grazing--has proven to be more effective at removing unwanted plant species. Land management practices used include: • Disking, • Grazing, • Haying, • Prescribed Burning, • Shredding, • Tree Removal
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Prescribed burning is used to remove old vegetative growth, release nutrients back to the soil, decrease woody and other invasive and undesirable plant species, increase warm season grasses and forbs, and reduce the amount of organic matter (litter) on the soil surface.