Native Prairie Defined

Native Minnesota prairie. Native Minnesota prairie.

A few definitions:

  • Native (Remnant) Prairies: Grass-dominated communities with a diversity of forbs (wildflowers) and wildlife. They are grasslands dominated by native prairie vegetation, usually occurring where the sod has never been broken.
  • Grasslands: Lands that include native prairies as well as old fields, conservation plantings (e.g. Conservation Reserve Program), prairie restorations, and biomass plantings for energy production. They provide various benefits, but do not have the full biodiversity and functions of native (remnant) prairies.
  • Prairie Restoration (Reconstruction): Re-building prairies by planting prairie seeds in areas changed to another land use.
  • Prairie Enhancement: Enhancing an existing native (remnant) prairie through management meant to improve the overall quality and function of the community.
  • Prairie Management: Specific conservation actions such as prescribed burning, grazing, haying, or other activities that improve the overall quality and function of native (remnant) prairies, restorations (reconstructions), and other grasslands.

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