Land Imprinting Methods (page 5) Prepared for Discovery Park, Safford, Arizona, by Ted St. John, Ph.D. Other Factors That Influence Success Rate Weeds:   Imprinting   often   gives   native   perennials   an   advantage   over   weeds,   an   advantage   that   depends   largely   on   the   quality   of   the impressions.   Proper   firming   of   the   soil   allows   repeated   re-wetting   of   the   seeds   by   capillarity,   providing   the   longer   wetting   periods   required for   germination   of   most   natives. The   quality   of   the   impressions   can   thus   make   the   difference   between   a   stand   of   natives   and   a   weed   patch. The   deck   is   further   stacked   against   the   weeds   if   mycorrhizal   fungi   are   present,   either   as   native   fungi   in   the   soil   or   in   inoculum   applied   at the time of imprinting. Mycorrhizal fungi must usually be supplied on graded, overgrazed, or weedy land. Fertilizer   has   a   very   limited   place   in   restoration   of   large   land   areas,   both   because   of   its   cost   and   because   of   its   stimulatory   effect   on   weeds. Unless   the   soil   is   seriously   deficient   in   one   or   more   nutrient   elements,   avoid   fertilization.   The   standard   for   deficiency   should   not   be   the   one applied   to   agriculture   or   horticulture,   but   should   be   by   comparison   to   undisturbed   soil   of   the   same   type,   supporting   healthy   native vegetation. Herbivores:   Herbivory   is   often   the   single   most   difficult   problem   in   habitat   restoration,   especially   in   the   desert.   Herbivores   have   markedly less   effect   on   large   than   on   small   plots;   thus   there   is   a   distinctly   better   chance   of   success   if   the   largest   possible   areas   are   treated.   Small areas   are   indefensible   if   herbivores   are   abundant.   While   fences   and   herbivore   control   may   be   temptations   during   the   early   stages   of   an imprinting   project,   they   are   rarely   required   on   large   plots.   By   the   time   the   vegetation   becomes   established,   the   herbivores,   predators,   and vegetation will have reached an equilibrium that should allow coexistence. Imprinting at Discovery Park Discovery   Park   in   Safford,   Arizona   used   land   imprinting   to   treat   several   tracts   of   land   after   removal   of   salt-cedar   and   other   weedy vegetation.   Most   of   the   imprinted   areas   are   performing   beyond   all   expectation,   with   diverse   native   shrubs   and   perennial   grasses   now thriving   on   land   that   once   seemed   destined   to   host   only   weeds   forever.   Discovery   Park   now   has   a   functional   imprinter   of   an   old   design, acquired   from   the   US Agricultural   Research   Service   (ARS)   from   machines   built   by   Dr.   Bob   Dixon   during   the   1970s.   In   addition,   Discovery Park   has   components   that   could   be   used   to   make   several   more   of   these   old   style   machines.   By   agreement   with   the ARS,   this   equipment   is available for loan to qualified users. Taking Action If   you   are   a   land   manager   you   may   wish   to   hire,   borrow,   or   construct   a   land   imprinter   to   improve   the   land   under   your   care.   The   information in   this   document   and   the   sources   listed   below   will   help   you   decide   whether   imprinting   is   available   and   cost   effective   for   your   own   situation. If   imprinting   turns   out   to   be   impractical,   it   may   be   possible   to   use   livestock,   some   form   of   pitting,   or   another   method   described   in   this document to improve your land. If   you   are   not   a   land   manager,   you   may   have   influence   in   land   management   as   a   volunteer   or   a   conservation   activist.   Learn   about   land imprinting   and   related   methods,   and   consider   whether   they   meet   the   needs   of   projects   that   concern   you.   Visit   Discovery   Park,   or   learn   of other land imprinting sites from the Imprinting Foundation. Study the successes and failures, and consider how to build on the successes. A   great   deal   of   farmland   has   been   retired   in   Arizona   and   elsewhere,   largely   due   to   changes   in   water   laws   and   water   availability.   Most   of this   land   lies   unproductive   and   covered   with   Russian   thistle   and   other   weeds.   Its   functionality   as   watershed   and   wildlife   habitat   could   be greatly   improved   by   properly   imprinting   it   with   seeds   of   native   vegetation.   Consider   how   you   might   take   part   or   organize   such   efforts   in your   area.   Determine   land   ownership,   cooperative   potential   of   landowners   and   other   interested   persons,   and   the   funding   or   arrangements that would be required to imprint these areas. Local   Resource   Conservation   Districts,   along   with   the   Natural   Resource   Conservation   Service   (NRCS),   may   be   able   to   advise   or   help   find funding   for   imprinting   projects   that   serve   the   missions   of   those   organizations.   If   your   local   offices   are   unfamiliar   with   imprinting,   help   find information and examples to bring them up to speed. If   you   have   the   land   and   resources   available,   carry   out   a   demonstration   project   so   that   local   landowners   and   officials   can   view   the   results of land imprinting at first hand. Contact the Imprinting Foundation or Discovery Park for help in planning such projects.
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Land Imprinting Methods (page 5) Prepared for Discovery Park, Safford, Arizona, by Ted St. John, Ph.D. Other Factors That Influence Success Rate Weeds:    Imprinting    often    gives    native    perennials    an    advantage    over    weeds,    an advantage   that   depends   largely   on   the   quality   of   the   impressions.   Proper   firming   of the   soil   allows   repeated   re-wetting   of   the   seeds   by   capillarity,   providing   the   longer wetting    periods    required    for    germination    of    most    natives.    The    quality    of    the impressions   can   thus   make   the   difference   between   a   stand   of   natives   and   a   weed patch.   The   deck   is   further   stacked   against   the   weeds   if   mycorrhizal   fungi   are   present, either   as   native   fungi   in   the   soil   or   in   inoculum   applied   at   the   time   of   imprinting. Mycorrhizal fungi must usually be supplied on graded, overgrazed, or weedy land. Fertilizer   has   a   very   limited   place   in   restoration   of   large   land   areas,   both   because   of its   cost   and   because   of   its   stimulatory   effect   on   weeds.   Unless   the   soil   is   seriously deficient    in    one    or    more    nutrient    elements,    avoid    fertilization.    The    standard    for deficiency   should   not   be   the   one   applied   to   agriculture   or   horticulture,   but   should   be by    comparison    to    undisturbed    soil    of    the    same    type,    supporting    healthy    native vegetation. Herbivores:   Herbivory   is   often   the   single   most   difficult   problem   in   habitat   restoration, especially   in   the   desert.   Herbivores   have   markedly   less   effect   on   large   than   on   small plots;   thus   there   is   a   distinctly   better   chance   of   success   if   the   largest   possible   areas are   treated.   Small   areas   are   indefensible   if   herbivores   are   abundant.   While   fences and   herbivore   control   may   be   temptations   during   the   early   stages   of   an   imprinting project,   they   are   rarely   required   on   large   plots.   By   the   time   the   vegetation   becomes established,    the    herbivores,    predators,    and    vegetation    will    have    reached    an equilibrium that should allow coexistence. Imprinting at Discovery Park Discovery   Park   in   Safford, Arizona   used   land   imprinting   to   treat   several   tracts   of   land after   removal   of   salt-cedar   and   other   weedy   vegetation.   Most   of   the   imprinted   areas are   performing   beyond   all   expectation,   with   diverse   native   shrubs   and   perennial grasses   now   thriving   on   land   that   once   seemed   destined   to   host   only   weeds   forever. Discovery   Park   now   has   a   functional   imprinter   of   an   old   design,   acquired   from   the   US Agricultural   Research   Service   (ARS)   from   machines   built   by   Dr.   Bob   Dixon   during   the 1970s.   In   addition,   Discovery   Park   has   components   that   could   be   used   to   make several    more    of    these    old    style    machines.    By    agreement    with    the    ARS,    this equipment is available for loan to qualified users. Taking Action If   you   are   a   land   manager   you   may   wish   to   hire,   borrow,   or   construct   a   land   imprinter to   improve   the   land   under   your   care.   The   information   in   this   document   and   the sources   listed   below   will   help   you   decide   whether   imprinting   is   available   and   cost effective   for   your   own   situation.   If   imprinting   turns   out   to   be   impractical,   it   may   be possible   to   use   livestock,   some   form   of   pitting,   or   another   method   described   in   this document to improve your land. If   you   are   not   a   land   manager,   you   may   have   influence   in   land   management   as   a volunteer   or   a   conservation   activist.   Learn   about   land   imprinting   and   related   methods, and    consider    whether    they    meet    the    needs    of    projects    that    concern    you.    Visit Discovery   Park,   or   learn   of   other   land   imprinting   sites   from   the   Imprinting   Foundation. Study the successes and failures, and consider how to build on the successes. A   great   deal   of   farmland   has   been   retired   in   Arizona   and   elsewhere,   largely   due   to changes   in   water   laws   and   water   availability.   Most   of   this   land   lies   unproductive   and covered   with   Russian   thistle   and   other   weeds.   Its   functionality   as   watershed   and wildlife   habitat   could   be   greatly   improved   by   properly   imprinting   it   with   seeds   of   native vegetation.   Consider   how   you   might   take   part   or   organize   such   efforts   in   your   area. Determine   land   ownership,   cooperative   potential   of   landowners   and   other   interested persons,   and   the   funding   or   arrangements   that   would   be   required   to   imprint   these areas. Local     Resource     Conservation     Districts,     along     with     the     Natural     Resource Conservation    Service    (NRCS),    may    be    able    to    advise    or    help    find    funding    for imprinting   projects   that   serve   the   missions   of   those   organizations.   If   your   local   offices are   unfamiliar   with   imprinting,   help   find   information   and   examples   to   bring   them   up   to speed. If   you   have   the   land   and   resources   available,   carry   out   a   demonstration   project   so that   local   landowners   and   officials   can   view   the   results   of   land   imprinting   at   first   hand. Contact    the    Imprinting    Foundation    or    Discovery    Park    for    help    in    planning    such projects.
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