Invasive Plant Mapping at the Farris Estate with EcoLogic


With the generous support from the estate Lois Lowe Farris, NICHES was able to contract with EcoLogic to perform an extensive invasive species mapping on our 400-acre restoration project in White County. The property, which was part of Farris' bequest to NICHES in 2021, is a massive undertaking for NICHES and was detailed in a blog post earlier last year. In a recent Facebook post, EcoLogic shared their findings with the general public.

EcoLogic writes:

"The Farris Property is located in White County Indiana and owned by the NICHES Land Trust. This approximately 400-acre project contains agricultural fields and large areas of formerly pastured but never cultivated sand prairie and sand savanna. These areas have been degraded by decades of grazing and fire suppression, but still harbor remnant plant communities of varying quality.

This newly acquired property will be restored through a partnership between NICHES, NRCS, and the USFWS through the Wetland Reserve Easement program. As a first step toward restoration, Eco Logic LLC was hired to map the invasive species in the savannas and brushy successional areas in the early fall of 2023. Senior Ecologist Kevin Tungesvick performed four days of field work in late September and early October. He utilized his GPS points to develop detailed GIS maps of the invasive plant infestations on the property. These Geospacial PDF maps are being utilized this winter to guide forestry mowing of the invasive shrubs through the partnership with USFWS. Eco Logic will be working alongside NICHES staff to treat the resprouts in the forestry mowing areas during the 2024 growing season.

The entire restoration project will be enrolled in the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) program administered by NRCS. The agricultural fields will eventually be restored to wet prairie and sedge meadow habitats under this program.

Congratulations to NICHES Land Trust on this significant acquisition in an otherwise agricultural landscape. The strong partnership between NICHES, federal agencies, and Eco Logic will place this property on the correct trajectory to restore the original diversity of the plant communities."

Check out EcoLogic's original post to view additional maps and information!

Autumn Olive Map

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