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GLACIERS TO RESTORATION: MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TURTLE ISLAND PRAIRIE BASED ON COMPREHENSIVE HISTORICAL AND SITE ANALYSIS
Mary Jo Youngbauer, University of Minnesota
Turtle Island Prairie is a semi-open, savanna-like area bordering the St. Croix Riverway, managed by the National Park Service. This research was intended to determine if Turtle Island Prairie should be targeted for restoration and, if so, what the restoration goal should be. The author conducted comprehensive research into the site's history, from the last glacial period through to modern management, which revealed that the area has transitioned through a wide variety of ecosystems during its history and has been affected by human use. Through on-site analysis of soils, topography, vegetation, and structure, the author determined the area to be relatively flat with sandy loam soil and scattered tree cover. A vegetation survey returned a total of 141 plant species, of which 19 were non-native. From this data, the author concluded that the site is a prime area for restoration efforts. The author's recommendation is that Turtle Island Prairie should be managed as an oak savanna with the main management activities being invasive species control, prescribed burning, and control of motorized off-road traffic.
Suggestions for Reading
Wovcha, Daniel, Barbara Delaney, and Gerda Nordquist. 1995. Minnesota's St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandplain: A Guide to Native Habitats. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Pages 3-39, 67-79.