Norton Wildlife Area
Keith Sebelius Reservoir/ Norton Wildlife Area News
SPRING HABITAT PROJECTS
Department staff has once again been busy this spring! The brome conversion project is still in full stride and looking promising! The 2015 project site is looking good for upland nesting and with a little rain will provide some great brood habitat.
The early intensive grazing system will continue in 2015 on different acres of brome grass. Grazing is being utilized as another tool to help in the fight against smooth brome! The animals will be on the property from April 1 until the middle of June.
Approximately 200 acres of smooth brome was treated with glyphosate in the fall of 2014. Glyphosate is used to set back the brome grass to allow for the release of existing native grasses as well as beneficial forb species.
90 more acres of treated brome grass are to be seeded to a native warm season grass and forb mix. With any luck, some much needed moisture will come to our area and help the new grass establish. All seed was purchased by the local Norton Longspur chapter of Pheasants Forever! The National Wild Turkey Federation also provided funding for the project through a superfund grant awarded in the fall of 2014. With out the help of PF and NWTF the large scale brome project would not be possible!
One buffer was planted on the west end of the property on a field bordering the Prairie Dog Creek. Plans are being drawn up for more buffer work in the fall.
Some new firebreaks have been installed on various locations. The firebreaks will be used to help with controlled burns when the burn ban is lifted. The firebreaks will also provide some needed brood habitat when left to grow to annual weeds.