Monday, December 22, 2014

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Clearing grasslands for health of troubled species

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Clearing grasslands for health of troubled species
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FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Fort Drum nature experts are out in the woods trying to restore some rare grassland areas to help protect troubled species.

Jason Wagner is Fort Drum's Natural Resources Branch Chief. His team has been working with local forestry companies, trying to clear out an area known as sand plain grasslands.

Fort Drum has about 350 acres of the sand-based grasslands on post. During the last several decades, about 90 acres of that land has been overtaken by wild forest growth. That puts some migratory birds in danger.

"If there's too many trees and shrubs and it's not open, than that's a place for predators to perch and pick off these little song birds that use that for their homes," said Fort Drum Natural Resources Branch Chief Jason Wagner.

Wagner says keeping the population of those birds up, and off endangered lists, allows Fort Drum to keep using the areas for much-needed training. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP