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Wildlife Upland Habitat Management

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					                                                                                                          327 - 1


                         NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE
                                  CONSERVATION PRACTICE STANDARD


                                        CONSERVATION COVER
                                                             (Ac.)


                                                         CODE 327



DEFINITION                                                           Do not plant noxious weeds to control
                                                                     erosion. The State of Georgia does not
Establishing and maintaining permanent
                                                                     have a list of noxious weeds; however,
vegetative cover
                                                                     the state has adopted the federal list.
                                                                     Information about these species is
PURPOSE                                                              available through the NRCS PLANTS
This practice may be applied to                                      Database
accomplish one or more of the following                              (http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxiousDrive
objectives:                                                          r).
   Reduce soil erosion and                                          Species shall be adapted to soil,
    sedimentation                                                    ecological sites, and climatic conditions.
                                                                     Inoculate legume seed with the proper
   Improve water quality                                            Rhizobium bacteria, unless legumes of
   Improve air quality (carbon                                      the same cross-inoculation group have
    sequestration)                                                   been planted previously on the site.
   Enhance wildlife habitat                                         Species planted shall be suitable for the
                                                                     planned purpose and site conditions.
   Improve soil quality
                                                                     Seeding rates and methods shall be
   Manage plant pests                                               adequate to accomplish the planned
                                                                     purpose. Certified seed shall be used.
CONDITION WHERE PRACTICE
                                                                     Planting dates, planting methods and
APPLIES
                                                                     care in handling and planting of the seed
This practice applies on all lands                                   or planting stock shall ensure that
needing permanent vegetative cover.                                  planted materials have an acceptable
This practice does not apply to plantings                            rate of survival. Vegetative planting
for forage production or to critical area                            material (e.g. sprigs, rhizomes, bulbs)
plantings.                                                           shall be from a reliable supplier.
                                                                     Site preparation shall be sufficiently
CRITERA                                                              adequate to eliminate weeds for
                                                                     establishment and growth of selected
General Criteria Applicable to All                                   species.
Purposes


Conservation practice standards are reviewed periodically and updated if needed. To obtain the
                                                                                                 NRCS, Georgia
current version of this standard, contact your Natural Resources Conservation Service State
Office or visit the electronic Field Office Technical Guide.                                     September 2009
                                                                                     327-2


Manage the vegetation by biological,           (Code 645) or Wetland (Code 644)
chemical or mechanical methods.                Wildlife Habitat Management for more
Timing and use of equipment shall be           information regarding the establishment
appropriate for the site and soil              of vegetation, especially native plants, for
conditions. Manage vegetation by fire          providing cover in perennial systems that
according to the Georgia Prescribed            fix carbon and improve air quality.
Burning Standard, Code 338.                    Information about planting large plant
                                               species is found in the Georgia Tree and
All nutrients shall be applied following
                                               Shrub Establishment Standard (Code
the nutrient management requirements
                                               612). Also, see the Georgia Cover
in the Georgia Nutrient Management
                                               Crop (Code 340) and Pasture and Hay
Standard (Code 590).
                                               Planting (Code 512) Standards for
Additional Criteria to Reduce Soil             information regarding the establishment
Erosion Due to Sheet and Rill                  of non-native vegetation. The Soil
Erosion and Sedimentation                      Conditioning Index (SCI) value of the
                                               RUSLE2 software should be positive for
The amount of plant biomass and cover
                                               vegetation that increases the soil organic
needed to reduce wind and water
                                               matter content as a result of carbon
erosion to the planned soil loss objective
                                               sequestration.
shall be determined using the current
approved wind and/or water erosion (the        Additional Criteria for Enhancing
Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation           Wildlife Habitat
Version 2 (RUSLE2) software)                   Plant a mixture of grasses, forbs, shrubs
prediction technology. As mentioned in         and/or legumes in order to meet the
the introduction, it is not the intention of   diverse needs of wildlife including food,
this standard to prevent erosion on            cover and locations for nesting and
critical sites (Georgia Critical Area          resting. See the Georgia Upland (Code
Planting Standard, Code 342). See the          645) or Wetland (Code 644) Wildlife
Georgia Tree and Shrub Establishment           Habitat Management for more
Standard (Code 612) and the Georgia            information regarding the establishment
Upland (Code 645) or Wetland (Code             of vegetation, especially native plants, for
644) Wildlife Habitat Management for           enhancing wildlife habitat. Crop and
more information regarding the                 native plant species for pollinators may
establishment of vegetation, especially        be found in the Cover Crop (Code 340)
native plants, for reducing soil loss as a     and Early Successional Habitat (Code
result of sheet and rill erosion.              647) Standards, respectively.
Additional Criteria for Improving Air          Additional Criteria to Improve Soil
Quality (carbon sequestration)                 Quality

In perennial crop systems such as              Plants will be selected on the basis of
orchards, vineyards, berries and nursery       producing high volumes of organic
stock, vegetation established shall            material to maintain or improve soil
provide full ground coverage in the            organic matter. The amount of biomass
alleyway during mowing and harvest             needed will be determined using the
operations. See the Georgia Upland             current SCI. See the Georgia Cover
                                               Crop (Code 340) and Pasture and Hay
                                                                         NRCS, Georgia
                                                                        September 2009
                                                                                 327-3


Planting (Code 512) Standards for more      year) throughout the managed area to
information regarding the establishment     maximize spatial and temporal diversity
of vegetation for improving soil quality.   for wildlife.
                                            Where wildlife management is an
Additional Criteria to Manage Plant
                                            objective, the food and cover value of the
Pests
                                            planting can be enhanced by using a
In perennial crop systems such as           habitat evaluation procedure to aid in
orchards, vineyards, berries and nursery    selecting plant species and providing or
stock, permanent vegetative cover shall     managing for other habitat requirements
be established and managed according        necessary to achieve the objective.
to The University of Georgia Integrated
Pest Management (IPM)                       Consider trying to re-establish the native
recommendations for the target pest         plant community for the site. Use native
species. See Appendices 1 and 2 for         species that are appropriate for the
information regarding the establishment     identified resource concern and
of clover (for controlling weeds and        management objective.
attracting pollinators) in pecan orchards   If a native cover (other than what was
and row crop fields, respectively.          planted) establishes, and this cover
                                            meets the intended purpose and the
CONSIDERATIONS                              landowner's objectives, the cover should
                                            be considered adequate.
This practice may be used to promote
the conservation of wildlife species in
general, including threatened and           PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS
endangered species.                         Specifications for this practice shall be
Certified seed and planting stock that is   prepared for each site. They shall
adapted to the site should be used when     include, but are not limited to:
it is available.                                  Recommended species
Mowing may be needed during the                   Seeding rates and dates
establishment period to reduce
competition from broadleaf annual                 Establishment procedures
weeds.                                            Other management actions
On sites where annual grasses are an               needed to insure and adequate
expected weed problem it may be                    stand
necessary to postpone nitrogen fertilizer   Specifications shall be recorded using
application until the planted species are   approved specifications sheets, job
well established.                           sheets, narrative statements in the
Where applicable this practice may be       conservation plan, or other acceptable
used to conserve and stabilize              documentation.
archeological and historic sites.
Consider rotating management and            OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
maintenance activities (e.g. mow only       Mowing and harvest operations in
one-fourth or one-third of the area each    perennial crop systems such as

                                                                     NRCS, Georgia
                                                                    September 2009
                                                                              327-4


orchards, vineyards, berries and nursery   http://fargo.nserl.purdue.edu/rusle2_data
stock shall be done in a manner which      web/RUSLE2_Index.htm
minimizes the generation of particulate
matter.
If wildlife habitat enhancement is a
purpose, maintenance practices and
activities shall not disturb the grass
cover during the reproductive period of
grass-nesting birds (1 April - 1 August)
throughout the state (Georgia
Department of Natural Resources,
Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame-
Endangered Wildlife Program, 1996).
Maintenance measures must be
adequate to control noxious weeds and
other invasive species.
To benefit insect food sources for
grassland nesting birds, spraying or
other control of noxious weeds shall be
done on a “spot” basis to protect forbs
and legumes that benefit native
pollinators and other wildlife.

REFERENCES IN ADDITION TO
NRCS, NHCP JUNE 2007
Georgia Department of Natural
Resources, Wildlife Resources Division,
Nongame-Endangered Wildlife Program.
1996. Georgia breeding bird atlas
handbook. Georgia Department of
Natural Resources, Forsyth, Georgia. p.
52-65
K. G. Renard, G. R. Foster, G. A.
Weesies, K. D. K. McCool and D. C.
Yoder. 1997. Predicting Soil Erosion by
Water: A Guide to Conservation
Planning with the Revised Universal Soil
Loss Equation (RUSLE), Agricultural
Handbook Number 703.
Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation
Version 2 (RUSLE2) website (checked
May 2007):

                                                                   NRCS, Georgia
                                                                  September 2009