Wildlife Friendly Farmland

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Published on: Jan. 2, 1999

Last revision: Nov. 3, 2010

seeding rates and grasses to plant for both cattle and wildlife and loaned them seeding equipment. "Having a plan and assistance all the way through was valuable to us," Richard Myers says.

The Myers are interested in conservation practices that bring wildlife into the area. Part of their income comes from leasing land to deer and turkey hunters. They also are restoring a glade on their land, where they have seen turkeys with their broods, as well as lizards and small snakes.

"The main source of recreation for my wife and me is observing nature," says Richard Myers, who is a retired biology professor. Last year, for the first time, he heard the lonesome call of a male road runner, one of the many species that share his farm.

Sometimes, however, nature can be a little too close. Sharon Loh of Caulfield was having trouble with beaver damming up the overflow to her spring-fed pond and digging burrows in the dam on her 40 acres. The beaver also cut down a willow tree, which was a favorite hangout of the birds she likes to watch. After Loh called the Conservation Department, Wildlife Damage Biologist Scott McWilliams helped her trap the nuisance beaver.

Through the wildlife damage program, Conservation Department employees will lend traps and train landowners to protect their property from damage from wild animals. Now that her pond is safe, Loh continues to enjoy the wildlife on her property. She plants wildlife bundles, a special group of trees and shrubs offered through the Conservation Department's George O. White Nursery, to increase habitat for less destructive wildlife.

Jim Runyan is another landowner who wants to attract wildlife, as well as improve his land. His goal is to build up soil fertility on his pasture and to have a private wildlife area. On the 1,000 acres he farms in DeKalb County, Runyan has used cost sharing programs to install a watering system and fencing that keeps his cattle out of the streams and draws. As a result, the cows no longer eat the young trees by the streams. Now hickory and walnut trees are starting to grow, and he planted evergreen trees to stop erosion.

"I can't believe the number of deer," says Runyan, who also has put in food plots for wildlife. He planted 60 acres of warm season grasses, which provide cover and food for quail and other wildlife. To provide additional food for animals,

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