Men removing trees in the woods

Invasive Plant Removal

Activity 2: Invasive plant removal by goats and CC of MN, and reseeding/replanting of 40 acres of bluff prairies, savannas, and bordering woodlands

2016 Products:

Prior to the beginning of the project period, the Conservation Corps of MN and IA used the project site to train their 2016 crew members in proper chain saw use and safety. They limited their activities to a 0.5-hectare area of bur oak savanna immediately adjacent to the parking area. This land is owned by the City of Winona, which granted them special permission for this activity. During a single day in late February, the Corps cut and piled buckthorn and honeysuckle on-site. The now dried piles will be burned by a Corps crew this winter. The Corps also will decide this winter when to perform further cutting of buckthorn and honeysuckle, and examine the possibilities for prescribed burns on both savanna and prairie habitats.

For 21 days during November, 35 goats owned by Diversity Landworks LLC were used to browse on invasive plants. The goats were confined by solar-powered electrified fencing to 3 different paddocks (1.5 to 2.7 acres) during the period: 11 days in Paddock 1, consisting of unmanaged savanna; 3 days in Paddock 2, consisting of the Corps-cleared savanna; and 7 days in Paddock 3, a mixed dry bluff prairie and oak savanna where invasive plants had been “managed” several times over the past 15 years. The public enjoyed the opportunity to see goats at work on the invasive plants at this high-visibility site. Diversity Landworks personnel indicate that this was the “most public” location in which their goats have been used, and they answered many questions from curious people about the goats, the project, what can be expected on-site in the future.