The Linn County Pheasants Forever board has been working with Linn County Conservation on a project for the Buffalo Creek (North East of Cedar Rapids near (Coggon)). The habitat management plan that Linn County has for this project includes five focus areas, check out below details of this initiative!
Prairie / Nesting Cover – The crop ground on the eastern half of the property approximately 40 acres) was converted to native prairie grasses and forbs. Both a tall grass mixture and a more diverse pollinator mix were planted. These plantings will provide nesting / brooding cover, and winter cover for game birds and small mammals. It will also provide habitat for many non-game species of wildlife and insects. Firebreaks will also be planted with a mixture of brome, alfalfa, and clover. These firebreaks will also provide nesting cover and travel corridors for wildlife. A total of 57 acres of native mixed prairie have been planted along with a 2.5 acre plot of sold switch grass to provide winter cover.
Wildlife Food Plot – Food plots have become increasingly important in our part of the state due to heavy snowfalls and ice storms in recent years. Under normal circumstances, nearby crop fields would supply necessary food for wildlife; however deep snow, ice and travel distance may prevent access to these areas. Food plots will provide accessible food next to suitable cover in extreme winter conditions. A 5acre food plot has been established with a rotation of small grains, such as milo, sunflower, and winter wheat.
Wetlands - The site has approximately 20 acres of low flood plain area which borders the Buffalo Creek and has a smaller tributary stream bisecting it. There is approximately 1 acre of emergent wetland on the site. A 5acre wetland is designed and will be constructed in 2019. Wetlands play an important role in water quality improvement as well as wildlife habitat. This 20 acre flood plane site would be allowed to grow native vegetation and further provide an excellent buffer for removing sediment and nutrients from the watershed.
Tree / Shrub Planting – In addition to the prairie planting trees and shrubs were planted in key areas to provide winter cover, food, and additional nesting. The plantings will also provide screening from neighboring property. The plantings consist of 10 -20 conifers and fruit bearing shrubs (viburnum, hazelnut, wild plum ) to provide both food and shelter.
Woodlands - The area also contains a small remnant population of widely scattered Oak and Hickory. The Oak and Hickory are in a 10 acre area that has been permanent pasture and is bordered by an abandoned railroad right of way. Grazing was eliminated and periodic burning will be conducted to stimulate any remnant prairie population; additional Oak trees were be planted widely scattered to recreate an Oak savanna, approximately 20.Read More (Attachment)