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Brushland management project to start in Badoura Township

Approximately 200 acres east of state Highway 64 in Badoura Township will soon undergo mechanical rotary-ax cutting as part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) ongoing wildlife management plan to improve brushland habitat in the area.

"Brushlands are plant communities that often require periodic disturbances to be maintained in an early stage or 'young stage' of vegetative succession," says Rob Naplin, DNR Area Wildlife Manager.

"These habitats are essential to the survival of several local wildlife species, including the greater prairie chicken, American woodcock, common snipe, yellow rail, sharp-tailed sparrow, northern harrier and sandhill crane, just to name a few."

The DNR has managed the brushlands in Badoura Township by mechanical shearing or cutting and prescribed burning for several years.

According to area staff, the vegetation within the project area has matured past the age where prescribed fires can effectively maintain the habitat at the desired stage. Therefore, mechanical cutting must be utilized to set back growth so future management with prescribed fire can occur.

Similar projects over the past 30 years have proven to be of benefit not only to wildlife, but to berry pickers, hunters, wildflower enthusiasts and bird watchers as well. "We expect to see an increase in the abundance and diversity of both game and non-game wildlife, as well as plants (after the cutting)," says Naplin. "It should also improve the recreational opportunities for those who enjoy these landscapes."

For additional information on brushlands and brushland management, contact the DNR Wildlife Office in Park Rapids at 732-8452 or visit the DNR Web site at www.mndnr.gov.

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