Tom's Blog

Friday, February 15, 2013

Following restoration work on air photos

I have been using GIS to keep track of the restoration work at Pleasant Valley Conservancy. The first air photo below is from 2005, just after we had completed our major work of clearing. Note how raw the land looked, with numerous bare areas. The Crane Prairie (the long, narrow, sandy area below Pleasant Valley Road, had just been cleared in January/February and the small white dots were where brush piles had been burned. I counted over 70 piles that we had burned in late winter.

The second air photo is from 2010, after the land had a chance to revegetate. The bare areas are gone and everything looks healthy.

I was surprised at how open and raw some of the cleared areas looked in the 2005 photo. This emphasizes the importance of seeding (or interseeding) after clearing. We have always done this, and I'm sure it makes a big difference in the results.

The other consequence of seeding is that it helps provide for burns. All of the areas on these photos have been burned every year since clearing, and it makes a huge difference. The Crane Prairie was planted in December 2005. In its fifth growing season in 2010 there were 87 species.  Take a look at the Crane Prairie page on our web site. 


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