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Resources for Landowners

Ways to make a significant impact on a larger scale in your own landscape ecology from the trees you keep/plant and the ways you manage the whole plot.

Mustard Flowers
Picking Strawberries

Landscape Level Impacts

Every American state has a department of ecology or form of environmental protection, meant to "Protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations".

There are many simple guide books available for various tasks a homeowner may want to do for improving their landscape.

US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Services "Web Soil Survey", let's you interact with a map to find the soil type and details for your region.  Managing our land of course starts with the soil.

Landscape management using ecological principles and guidance, for larger scale and broad land use for healthier ecosystem.

landowner handbook
Ecological land management

Aiming for Organic Practices

From small scale farms and landscapes, to larger industry agriculture or other land management, I've collected a few samples of organic practices for the PNW and beyond.  If you aim for organic certification specifically, there will be specific guides for that out there but I've included a nice page from the USDA for their organic assistance.  Most resources are for pest control

Organic Land Management and Agriculture

landowner resources

Washington State University Organic Agriculture Resources

"WSU had been an active participant in the pursuit of information, tools, and organic solutions to agricultural production and sustainability challenges" since the 1970s.  In this link, you'll find their page with links to research and published guides for organic ag.

Organic Pest Management

Short guide to organic pest management with USDA regulation standards and additional resources.

Organic Pest Management guide

Integrated Pest Management

University of California IPM

Thorough site by University of California with pages for home/garden , agricultural, natural landscapes, and exotic/invasive pests and how to manage them using integrated pest management for least harm.

South Dakota organic agriculture

Organic Pest Control Methods

Nice intro to organic agriculture for South Dakota region.  Covering integrated pest management techniques, including chemical use and alternatives. Also has links to workshops.

Organic land management

USDA Organic Certification Resources

"Many USDA agencies serve the growing organic sector. Whether you're already certified organic, considering transitioning all or part of your operation, or working with organic producers, we have resources for you. This portal connects you with programs, services, and educational materials that can help your organic farm or business."

Soil Fertility Guide for Gardeners & Small Farms

Soil Fertility in Organic Systems

Guide to soil health for organic gardening and farming.  Includes sections on: soil fundamentals, soil testing & fertilizing recommendations, organic soil amendments & builders, organic fertilizers, plus further reading suggestions.  PDF download

Organic Production

NE Sustainable Agriculture Research & Ed.

Native Plant Societies

Every North American state has it's own native plant society.

North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) is a volunteer-operated organization focusing on preserving native plants and their habitat in wild areas while restoring indigenous flora to developed areas.

Through the NANPS you can find your own local Native Plant Society.

north american native plant society
Green Pastures

Hedgerows have long been used as living barriers but they can be more than just a row of 1 type of shrub.  They can be another way to create habitat for more species and add diversity to otherwise monoculture crops or non-native grass rangelands. 

Here is a site by the Native Plant Salvage Foundation of WA with a How-To handbook and some templates for building a better hedgerow for a healthier landscape.

The Department of Natural Resources has an interesting assessment that any landowner can do with their own property to officially quantify the land's habitat quality. "The Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) method uses vegetation composition as a means of assessing ecological condition."  It particularly focuses on species that are, say "pickier" in their habitat, only living where it is less degraded.  This can be a useful tool for anyone wanting to know for sure if their land management efforts will make a positive difference in the land quality, instead of just "eyeballing it".

The following page is a guide through that process, with some additional options.

assess site quality for pollinators
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