Wildlife Habitat Organization Cutting Shrubs in Pastures

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The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) has been working with private landowners in South-Western Manitoba over this past summer to cut down shrubs in native pastures.
The MHHC is a wildlife habitat organization interested in the conservation and management of native mixed grass prairie in Manitoba. They have begun a 3 year program, available to landowners, that is aimed at reducing the wolf willow and snowberry shrubs on native pastures.
Although cutting shrubs in pastures might seem like the wrong approach for wildlife habitat; MHHC recognizes that practices like this are very beneficial for a number of grassland birds and beef producers.
The grass under the shrubs is sometimes under-utilized and typically Kentucky Blue Grass, which doesn’t have a lot of protein for the cow/calf pair. Reducing the shrub cover allows the native plants to compete for sunlight and space with Kentucky Blue Grass. By increasing the native species in a pasture, there is an increase in pasture quality, improved grazing distribution of the cattle and more habitat for grassland birds.
The MHHC has cut approximately 1500 acres of shrubs over this past summer on private land with a goal to continue cutting more pastures in the summer of 2014.
The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation has Field Offices in Reston-(204) 821-4943, Boissevain-(204) 305-0276, Shoal Lake-(204) 759-4220, Minnedosa-(204) 867-6032, and Rosser-(204) 471-9663.