2017 Seed Sowing at JBLM

The Center for Natural Lands Management’s JBLM Program has set yet another benchmark in 2017 by sowing more than 1,600 pounds of native seed across over 170 acres of JBLM prairies. This included nearly 250 pounds of seed for forbs, and 1,400 pounds of seed for a variety of native grasses - not just Fescue!

A rainbow stretches across the sky at JBLM while seeding.

To put our success into context, the 2017 effort accounted for over 40% of the area and 50% of the total seed sown on JBLM since 2014. Seeding efforts were designed to meet specific habitat enhancement targets that benefit our federally listed species, including the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, the streaked-horned lark, and the Mazama pocket gopher. Seed prescriptions were tailored to each site based on what we know previously existed in each area from our Prairie Habitat Monitoring data, and on what our site specific targets were.

Sowing seed on a tractor on a clear day.

Thus, we were able to maximize the use of seed (produced for us by our very own Violet Prairie Seed Farm). We also had the opportunity to treat exotic vegetation on and sow seed onto both McChord and Gray Arm airfields in 2017. These efforts were part of a larger demonstration project that may lead to future opportunities to convert grass cover on these airfields to native species. Regardless of those outcomes, we expect to continue our trend of increasing both acres and total volume of seed sown on JBLMs training areas.

Making progress row by row!