USFW Provides Grass Drill to Dewey County Conservation District

image of grass drill
Dewey County Conservation District and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hope to plant 8,000 to 10,000 acres of native grasses with the grass drill over the next 10 year.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Wildlife Program has provided a 10-foot grass drill to the Dewey County Conservation District through a $29,000 grant to help landowners plant native grasses for wildlife habitat restoration. The district will charge a nominal maintenance fee to landowners to use the drill not only in Dewey County, but including adjacent counties. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 acres will be restored to native grasses over the 10-year life of the agreement. The restoration of native grasslands will provide important breeding, migrating and wintering habitat for neo-tropical birds, wading birds, shorebirds and other grassland nesting bird and wildlife species.

n front of the grass drill (from left) are Clay Pope, OACD Executive Director; John Hendrix,USFW wildlife biologist; Mike Thralls, OCC executive director; Jimmy Emmons, Kenneth Salisbury, Jimmie Purvine, Dale Wilson and Roger Moore, Dewey County CD directors; and Mike Rooker, OCC chairman.

“This will help not only participants in U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Partners for Wildlife Program but also landowners with Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program agreements with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or other programs through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation,” said John Hendrix. Hendrix is a wildlife biologist for USFW’s Oklahoma Ecological Services office in Tulsa. “Use of the equipment is not limited to landowners enrolled in programs, though,” Hendrix said. “Any landowner who wants to use the drill to plant native grasses is welcome to do so,” Hendrix said. “The more the drill is used and the more native grasses restored will add to the success of the project,” he said. “We are optimistic this will be a successful project and if it is, we would like to do similar projects at conservation districts in other areas of the state,” Hendrix said.