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Monday, June 3 • 11:00am - 11:25am
A Landowner's Experience with Blackland Prairie Restoration in Texas LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Restoration/easement goals for the 200-acre Kirchoff Family Farm included:
•Protect property in perpetuity
•Create awareness of significance of native prairies
•Use for education purposes
•Serve as model for other landowners.

Initial restoration attempts, starting in 2009, failed. Subsequently, NRCS and USFWS were contacted for restoration advice and support.

Over a three-year period (2011 – 2013) 170 acres were planted to prairie seed mixes with NRCS WHIP funding and advice.

Thirty acres remain preserved as woody riparian areas.

Four USFWS – PFW projects were completed:
•Two projects (Wildlife Guzzlers and Burrowing Owl Roost Sites) by Eagle Scout candidates
•Green Tree (Pollinator) Firebreak planted by 90 volunteers from Boy & Girl Scout Troops and 4-H Clubs from Wilson and surrounding counties
•Diversity Plots supported by a nursery constructed to grow difficult to find native plants.

The property was placed under a Conservation Easement with Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) in 2013.

Management practices include prescribed grazing, haying, and selective shredding. A TPWD plan for controlled burn tests has been approved to commence in 2019.

Battling invasive grasses and woody plants is challenging and ongoing.

Monarch butterfly and milk weed research projects are underway by UTSA and USFWS.

The public is engaged regularly, such as, through:
•Third Saturday Work Days
•Several Workshops annually led by restoration and wildlife experts
•Special tours for other landowners considering restoration
•Monthly San Antonio NPAT chapter meetings.

Property now operating at near financial break-even.


Don Kirchoff

Kirchoff Family Farm
Don Kirchoff left the family farm after high school, graduating from Texas Lutheran University (BS in math) and University of North Texas (MS in physics).He subsequently pursued a career in the oil and gas industry (Schlumberger), worked in the environmental industry (International... Read More →

Monday June 3, 2019 11:00am - 11:25am CDT
Room 1418, The Forest Room