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Erosion Control & Wildlife

Sericea Lespedeza, Lespedeza CuneataForest managers, in an effort to protect water quality, have initiated programs to stabilize logging roads, log decks, and skid trails. Unfortunately, some of the best erosion control plants have little or no value for wildlife. On sites where wildlife is an objective and erosion potential is low, avoid planting mixtures that contain sericea lespedeza, fescue, bermudagrass, and weeping lovegrass. These plants provide little benefit for wildlife and are aggressive in nature, often out-competing beneficial wildlife plants. These plants, however, have excellent erosion control qualities and are best suited to steep slopes and stream crossings.

Weeping Lovegrass, Eragrostis Curvula Tall Fescue, Lolium Arundinaceum Table 1 lists plantings where erosion control is the most important consideration. Table 2 lists mixtures having erosion control and wildlife benefits. These mixtures are suited to those sites with less erosion potential, especially where wildlife is an objective. Table 3 lists plantings that are good to excellent in value for wildlife. Any mixture with white clover, red clover, crimson clover, arrowleaf clover, ryegrass, rye, wheat, or oats usually provides good ground cover and Wildlife food value for a minimum of two years. These plantings are well suited to sites with level or gentle slopes including log decks, skid trails, firebreaks, widened roadsides, closed roads, and other openings.

Bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon The tables in this publication are designed as a quick reference to help you select the proper seeding mixtures for your area. If you participate in programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you must be aware of the conservation provisions of the latest Farm Bill. For example, planting small grains on highly erodible land must be part of an approved conservation plan, and wetlands cannot be converted for food plots. Contact the local Natural Resources Conservation Service office for additional details.