Image courtesy Minnesota DNR

Work will begin next month on a habitat restoration project at Clifton and Rolling Hills wildlife management areas, two WMAs east of Marshall in Lyon County.

Contractors will remove trees and brush scattered across the two WMAs. Those trees and brush will be cut, stump treated, piled and burned. The trees include cottonwoods and non-native Russian olive, Siberian elm and buckthorn that have degraded and spread across critical prairie habitat. Tree removal work will take place over a two-year period.

The strategic tree removal is designed to benefit the prairie and grassland ecosystem and provide improved nesting and brood rearing habitat for pheasants, grassland nesting waterfowl, and other grassland-dependent species. It will also benefit pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

In fact, wildlife staff planted a 5.5-acre area with native shrubs and trees back in 2017 to benefit birds, pollinators and deer.

The project is a partnership with Pheasants Forever and its Enhanced Public Lands Program and the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.