An outline of all related info and sources.

Page Under Construction.  Suggestions welcome in the comments below.  (photos coming)

Restoration Ecology
-Vocab from Reading

Sustainable Agriculture

More Useful Links
-Databases, forums
-Finding Sites to Visit

Vocab from Reading
-Stages of an ecosystem's growth over time. Following a disturbance or creation of a new landmass (called secondary or primary succession, respectively), succession usually begins with fast-growing pioneer species, increasing in diversity and complexity until reaching a climax forest, unless restricted by climate or repeated disturbances.  It's also the process from a recently cultivated field or restoration site.
-Possible for humans to control and accelerate, like sowing grass seed on a barren mountain, transplanting trees onto a former reservoir bed, or introducing late-succession grasses into an early-succession prairie.

Disturbances – floods, fires, herds, humans.
Pioneers - First species to colonize a recently-disturbed area.  Examples of including plants of the legume family, which fix nitrogen and grow quickly.  Also useful for cover cropping.

Keystone Species -Significantly alter the structure and balance of their ecosystem.  Examples include beavers flooding valleys ("engineers"), red-cockaded woodpeckers excavating cavities for other species ("mutualists"), and wolves limiting elk populations ("predators") and thereby protecting mountains from de-vegetation and erosion.
Indicator Species - Dependent on specific habitat conditions, whose presence therefore provides clues about the ecosystem's current condition.  Examples include geocarpom minimum which indicates salty soils, and RCW's which indicate healthy, restored pine forests.

Alleliopaths - Species that secret toxins to suppress competing plants.  e.g. Black Walnut.

Symbiosis - When two species benefit eachother, such as ants and yarumo trees at Kasaguadua Reserve.

Ephemeral - Literally "lasting one day," describes plants with brief growth periods, such as geocarpon minimum at Warren Prairie.

Basal Area (BA) - A measurement of forest density, in square feet of tree trunks per acre.  60 is common a target BA for forest restoration projects.

Forest restoration
-Thinning - Removing some trees (reducing BA) to improve health of those remaining.  Also known as timber stand improvement (TSI), it reduces competition and improves tree growth, disease resistance and wildlife habitat.  
-Prescribed Burning -

-Harvest/Regeneration methods
  -Seed tree - When individual, selected trees are retained to produce the next generation.
  -Shelter belt - When strips of trees are retained to provide seed, as well as climate control for saplings.
  -"Even-aged" - A nicer term for clearcutting, when all trees are harvested from a given area.

Prairie vs. Meadow - Both rely on disturbances to regenerate grasses and prevent the establishment of woody plants.  The difference is the mode of disturbance:
  Prairie - fires, either naturally occurring or prescribed by humans, such as at Ojibway PrairieNeal Smith Refuge, or Fermilabs.
  Meadow - floods, droughts or other disturbance besides fire.


Management Agencies


-Department of the Interior (DOI)
  • National Parks Service [website]- Manages 84 million acres at 409 different sites of varying designations, including 128 historical parks, 78 national monuments, 59 national parks, 19 preserves and 10 seashores.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [website]-  Manages 150 million acres of the National Wildlife Refuge System at 551 sites, such as the Neal Smith NWR in Iowa.
  • Bureau of Land Management [website]-  Manages 31 million acres of 'National Conservation Land,' mostly in the west, for the "use and enjoyment of future generations under our mandate of multiple use and sustained yield." See the Wyoming BLM [website] for example.
  • Bureau of Reclamation [website]- Manages water resources in the western states.
  • U.S. Geological Survey [website]- The scientific bureau of the DOI, it informs management decisions through its mapping and research.
-Department of Agriculture (DOA)
  • Farm Service Agency - [website]
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service - [website]
  • U.S. Forest Service - [website]
-Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Army Corps of Engineers [website]- Manages the 24 million acres owned by the U.S. military.  Environment-related responsibilities include waterways, reservoirs and flood control structures. 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - [website]

  • Department of Natural Resources (DNR) - manages state lands in certain states, such as the Michaux State Forest in PA.
  • Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) - Alternative name for DNR, depending on state.
  • Game and Fish Commission - manages Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in some states, such as California, Arizona and Arkansas, through maintaining habitats, stocking fish, and issuing hunting licenses. 
  • The Nature Conservancy [website]-  The largest conservation organization with almost $6 billion in assets and $801 million in operating expense in FY2015 [link].  It functions in part as a real estate broker, purchasing land for eventual resale to government agencies.  Actively manages its holdings (e.g. conducts prescribed burns) and collaborates on managing federal, state and private land, such as the Warren Prairie in S. Arkansas.
  • Sierra Club [website]- Founded in 1892 by John Muir, it now has 2.4 million supporters and an annual budget of around $100 million.  Traditionally more radical than other groups, TSC is active in suing polluters and lobbying for environmental legislation.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council [website]- An environmental action group of 500 lawyers, scientists and other professionals, and over two million members.  "Founded in 1970 to protect our air, land and water from... pollution and corporate greed."  
  • World Wildlife Fund [website]- Dedicated to "protecting biodiversity," focusing on popular mammals such as tigers, whales and pandas, their logo.  Total FY2015 budget of $289.4 million.  
  • Trout Unlimited [website]- Established in 1959, an organization of fishermen dedicated to protecting and improving wild trout populations and habitat, as opposed to the "cookie-cutter" stocked trout from state hatcheries.  TU is sometimes involved with stream restoration projects, such as Conococheague Creek in PA

Natural Farming - Masanobu Fukuoka
Biodynamic Farming - Rudolf Steiner
Agroecology - Gleissman, et al.
Permaculture - Bill Mollison, David Holmgren
Restoration Agriculture - Mark Sheppard
Regrarianism - Darren Doherty
Keyline Design - P.A. Yeomans
Holistic Management - Allan Savory

Cover Cropping
Companion Planting
Rotational Grazing
Banana Circles

Integrated Techniques
Alley cropping
Pasture cropping

Plants for Our Future - Database of most plant species, includes edible/medicinal uses, cultivation and habitat.
Checklist of Online Vegetation and Plant Distribution Maps - List of studies by continent.

Cover Crop Chart - A periodic table of selecting cover crop types.
Cover Crop Decision Tool - Suggests species by time of year and duration.
Cover Crops and Soil Health - List of cover crop studies by state and list of guides by species

Agroforestree Database - Suggests tree species by uses (fodder, timber, fertility, etc.)
Coppice Agroforestry - Site for David Jacke's new book, includes historical case studies.
Forest Agriculture Enterprises - Nursery sales from Mark Sheppard's company.

Regrarians Facebook Page


  1. Please link to the United States Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming USA. Most people in the United States don't even know what the BLM does. Thanks


    1. Great idea Jeffrey. I actually added a list of all the conservation/management related agencies (including the Wyoming BLM). So many to keep track of. When I get the chance I'll write descriptions and also list the different types of refuge/park/natural area. Thanks for the idea! Cheers

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