Restoration Begins at Two New Conservation Properties in Thurston County

Two parcels of prairie land (36 and 51 acres each) recently began the restoration journey to high quality prairie habitat.  The properties are Kaufman Construction and Development holdings, which have been set aside as mitigation for the Mazama pocket gopher as detailed in the Habitat Conservation Plan they developed for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. CNLM recently was contracted to restore the parcels for Kaufman Construction and Development to provide habitat for the Mazama pocket gopher and other listed species in the South Sound. 

Restoration began at both parcels this spring with treatments to remove invasive pasture grasses, and will continue into the summer with treatments to remove Scotch Broom. A prescribed burn will be conducted at the Leitner Road parcel this fall, which will be followed by seeding of native forbs and grasses. Removing invasive species is always at the top of our restoration list, and CNLM volunteers and staff have already begun the immense task of removing Scotch broom from the site. 

CNLM volunteer Mike Hargrove working hard to remove Scotch broom.

This parcel already maintains a large native plant population comprised of over 50 species. This includes several annual species, which are generally lost from a site when invasive species take over and a burn regime is halted. We’re hopeful that high quality prairie can be developed quickly (within five years) and relieve Kaufman of the mitigation burden. 

CNLM volunteers after our first work party removing invasive plants at one of the new sites.

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