Restoring Large Prairies in the Chicago Region

Chicago_tree-in-field
Jim Root

"One of the great conservation needs in the Chicago Wilderness region is to restore prairies big enough for long-term sustainability - for both their animals and plants. Everywhere east of the Mississippi, the formerly wide-open prairies have been reduced to small fragments. Many efforts are underway to expand and augment such small remnants with good-quality, large restored prairies. The resulting larger prairies, if restored and managed well, may provide long-term conservation benefits by increasing gene pool sizes, allowing more grassland animals to provide their natural ecosystem functions, and allowing forces such as fire to act at a landscape scale and create a dynamic of habitat patches."

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