Based upon a 1914 land survey done by Little River Drainage District, we have a snapshot of about 20,000 acres between Duck Creek and Advance before the area was established. As you can see, at this stage the Mingo basin still was dominated with timber (more than 80 percent) with only small parts starting to be cleared or used for agriculture. In the last 50 years, aerial photographs have become a useful tool to examine land changes. In relatively the same area as the 1914 LRDD survey, we have aerial photographs from 1951 and 2004 that show how much timber was and still is being converted to agriculture today. As you can see, there isn’t much timber left in the lowlands. No doubt, the transition from timber to agriculture has affected the presence and availability of food and cover for wildlife over time.
Even though agriculture replaced trees, it hasn’t remained static either over the last 60 years. The progression of equipment and crop varieties has led to greater efficiency and less variety occurring at an increasingly larger scale. These trends have affected the amount and type of waste grains and weeds that are available in the surrounding landscape.