Celebrating and conserving the ecological richness of California's grasslands
Grassland Restoration and Management Resources

Restoration Manual for Annual Grassland Systems in California, ANR Publication 8575, June 2017, written by former CNGA Director, Elise Gornish and Julea Shaw.

A comprehensive ecological application guide for effective restoration in grassland and rangeland systems for California. Developed for use by practitioners of any experience level to inform grassland restoration design and application. 

Includes sections on:

  • Identifying your Restoration Goals - enhancing biodiversity, reducing invasive plant cover, improving pollinator and wildlife habitat, providing forage for livestock, erosion control, and carbon storage
  • Pre-Vegetation Techniques - invasive species management
  • Plant Materials - choosing species, sourcing seeds & plants, seed mixes, seeding amounts
  • Revegetation Techniques
  • Species--descriptions of over 80 grassland species with pros and cons
  • Species Listed by Region and Restoration Goal - with tables for 7 goals for each of 7 areas: southern, desert, central coast, valley, northern coast, northern interior, and basin

How to Manage and Restore Coastal Prairie: Thoughts From the FieldCalifornia’s Coastal Prairie. A project of the Sonoma Marin Coastal Grasslands Working Group by Claudia Luke, Diana (Immel) Jeffery,  and Kathleen Kraft. Last modified June 2013.  Center for Environmental Inquiry at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California. Website: www.sonoma.edu/cei/prairie.

Grassland Management Skills Curriculum offers teaching materials for a complete course on teaching grassland ecology, species, and site-specific management planning strategies where student build on initial knowledge by learning to develop and modify their own grassland management prescriptions. 

Managing for Wildlife: Birds, Pollinators, Butterflies and Beneficial Insects

Tonietto, RK & DJ Larkin. 2017. Habitat restoration benefits wild bees: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology Vol.  55 (2).  https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13012

Forister Matthew L., Emma M. Pelton, Scott H. Black. 2019. Declines in insect abundance and diversity: We know enough to act now. Conservation Science and Practice (online) First published: 22 June 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.80.

Grassland disturbance increases monarch butterfly oviposition and decreases arthropod predator abundance. Biological Conservation, Volume 233, May 2019, Pages 185-192 by Nathan L.Haan, Douglas A.Landis. Also see Mowing for MonarchsScience Direct's summary of above article. March 12, 2019.

Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed, Xerces Society, 2013. 

Grassland and rangeland management for grassland birds. NRCS, Wildlife Habitat Management Institute,1999. See page 5, Grassland and Rangeland Management for birds. Page 7 has a summary table of habitat requirements for grassland-nesting birds.

Pollinators in Natural Areas: A Primer on Habitat Management, Xerces Society, 2014. Contains information on managing grazing, fire, mowing, and insecticides.  See page 12 for a graph with the recommended management window for North American bees and bumblebees. 

California Partners in Flight and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory recommends avoiding mowing or burning until after July when breeding season is over (pp 22-23)

Livestock grazing supports native plants and songbirds in a California annual grassland. PLoS ONE 12(6), 2017: By Sasha Gennet, Erica Spotswood, Michele Hammond, James W. Bartolome.  An 8-year study in central California finds livestock grazing can be compatible with or support grassland bird conservation. --Michele Hammond is a current serving on the CNGA Board of Directors. 

Weed Control

Selected Yellow Starthistle Treatment Options, Livestock & Range News, by Devii R. Rao, Septemeber 20, 2017. Grazing, mowing, herbicide options to  control yello starthistle. 

Prescribed Fire

Assessment of Prescribed Fire as a Conservation Practice, from  Fuhlendorf, S. D.,  R. F. Limb,  D. M. Engle, and R. F. Miller.  2011Assessment of prescribed fire as a conservation practice. Pages 75104 in D. D. Briske, editor. Conservation benefits of rangeland practices: assessment, recommendations, and knowledge gaps. US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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