Resource Management

Burn by Road

A Key Cave planning committee composed of several Federal, state, and local entities has been formed to guide management of the new refuge.


Cooperative Farming Program:  

Annually, through a cooperative agreement, a local farmer is permitted to plant agricultural crops on approximately 295 acres of refuge.  These designated agricultural lands are managed in a crop rotation and, the majority of the refuge lands are planted via no-till technologies.  The farm agreements authorize farmers to harvest a certain percentage of crops, while leaving the remaining percentage of crop standing in the field for use by wildlife. Two purposes and values of the crop share are: as a food source and habitat/cover for the wildlife resources utilizing the refuge.

 

Prescribed Fire Program:  

Early-successional habitat and Native Warm Season Grass (NWSG) management is most effectively and efficiently accomplished through prescribed fire.  Prescribed burning in NWSG fields helps maintain habitat conditions for several targeted grassland bird species.  Population declines are believed to be a result of changes in land management practices and the disappearance or lack of suitable habitat. A management goal for the refuge is to reestablish and maintain acreage of NWSG and early-successional habitats for the benefit of the following target species:  grasshopper sparrow, dickcissel, northern harriers, short-eared owls, loggerhead shrikes, and northern bobwhite. NWSG thrives in a regular burn rotation and benefits from frequent fire.