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1 January 2015 Best Management Practices: An Integrated and Collaborative Approach to Native Plant Restoration on Highly Disturbed Sites
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Revegetating highly disturbed sites in the western United States with native plants is challenging because of poor soils, harsh climates, and the lack of native plant materials suitable for many restoration sites. While there are a variety of products and equipment available to the revegetation specialist, integrating these tools into project planning and construction is often the weak link to successful revegetation. Over a decade ago, the USDA Forest Service and USDOT Federal Highway Administration formed a partnership to address the challenge of restoring native plants on roadsides. The Forest Service has used this partnership as a model for working with other agencies on revegetating abandoned mines, degraded rangelands, high elevation sites, and constructed wetlands. Beginning in the early phase of a project, engineers, environmental specialists, and revegetation specialists work together to craft a revegetation plan at the same time construction plans are being developed. As the project moves into the construction phase, the revegetation specialist, construction engineer, and contractors work together to ensure that the revegetation plan is properly implemented. When the project is completed, the revegetation specialist monitors the results of the revegetation effort and reports the findings. This collaborative effort increases the understanding of available restoration tools, including: (1) when to use them; (2) their effectiveness and costs; and (3) how they are realistically implemented on construction projects. Collaboration has been a key factor in increasing success and advancing the development of new methods and strategies for restoring native plants to highly disturbed sites.

Lee E. Riley, David E. Steinfeld, Lisa A. Winn, and Sunny L. Lucas "Best Management Practices: An Integrated and Collaborative Approach to Native Plant Restoration on Highly Disturbed Sites," Natural Areas Journal 35(1), 45-53, (1 January 2015).
Published: 1 January 2015

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