OVERVIEW OF THE SOUTHEASTERN GRASSLANDS INITIATIVE AND A CALL FOR ACTION

Author: 
Estes, Dwayne
Publisher: 
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
2018
Description: 
The southeastern U.S. is not known as a major grassland region. Its grasslands largely disappeared two centuries ago. Today�s remnant savannas, prairies, glades, barrens, balds, and wet grasslands (bogs, fens, meadows, marshes) are vestiges of a bygone era.� Many are threatened by fire suppression, habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change. In spite of occupying less than one percent of the land area, Southeastern grasslands harbor a disproportionate percentage of the nation�s grassland biodiversity. As grasslands continue to fade, the effects of ecological collapse are becoming clear. Without a paradigm shift and intervention, hundreds of species face functional or complete extinction. A stark realization is setting in that past and current conservation efforts aren�t enough to address the myriad threats facing Southern grasslands. A new visionary approach is needed to re-think conservation on a big-scale. The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative (SGI), based out of Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, Tennessee), aims to establish itself as a clearinghouse to focus priorities in on-the-ground conservation and research for grasslands across a 21-state region. The SGI will employ a multi-faceted approach that combines restoration, preservation, re-creation, research, rescue, seedbanking, education, and market-driven strategies. Re-classifying many Southeastern areas as rangeland would go a long way toward benefitting grassland conservation in the Southeast. The SGI�s long-term goal is to become a granting organization whereby we offer grants related to the eight strategies above to facilitate conservation at a scale not presently possible. Such an ambitious endeavor requires major funding. We are currently working with and seeking support from private philanthropic foundations, corporations, non-profit conservation organizations, and government agencies. To learn more about SGI please check out www.segrasslands.org.
Conference Name: 
SRM Reno, NV
Conference Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Resource Type: 
Text
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

A collection of presentation titles and abstracts from the SRM Annual Meeting and Tradeshows