Restoration of native plant communities is a growing trend that can have a positive effect on land value and the environment in which we live. Habitat restoration helps clean our water, increase flood storage, provide habitat for native species, offer opportunities for education and research, and create an aesthetically pleasing environment.
Throughout the upper Midwest, native habitats have been destroyed or severely degraded since pre-settlement due to incompatible land use, leaving only remnants of once vast ecosystems. Wetlands have been drained by tiling and ditching. Native prairies have been replaced by row crops and mowed lawns. Forests have been clear-cut. Non-native species have invaded many of our native landscapes.
raSmith’s ecologists have worked on numerous successful native restoration design projects, both large and small, throughout the upper Midwest. Many of these have included permittee-responsible wetland restoration, which is often necessary to compensate for unavoidable wetland loss. We have also prepared wetland mitigation bank documents and plans for our clients to establish wetland compensatory mitigation “credits” in Wisconsin that can later be purchased by permittees.
Using the best available historical data, aerial photography, soil maps, and other information, each site is carefully evaluated for its restoration potential and is carefully designed to resemble its original native landscape. Post-implementation, each restoration project is carefully monitored to evaluate its success and make important site management decisions. Restoration design monitoring typically includes detailed vegetation surveys, wildlife surveys, and hydrological analysis.