President's Note Winter 2017

More good news!! We just received word that the Friend’s Group will receive an additional $15,000 from the Holloman Price Foundation for the Savannah Restoration Project.  Historically, a large portion of the SNA consisted of an open grassland prairie, however, over time with European settlement, this grassland was converted to ranch and farm land and subsequently (with the suppression of natural fire and overgrazing) became overgrown with Ashe Juniper, Mesquite, and numerous non-native grass species.  The diversity of plant and animal life was significantly diminished which led to less than optimal ecosystem conditions. The Savannah Restoration Area is a prime example of SNA’s active restoration efforts and the Friends of Government Canyon are pleased they can help out.

The 370 acre Savannah Restoration Project is being approached in phases. The number of phases depends on the available funding. The phasing will also depend on how the savannah responds to the herbicide treatments, prescribed burning and plantings. The work in this initial phase will focus on treating the portions of the Savannah Restoration Area that have the worst woody vegetation growth…roughly 50-75 acres. Depending on how these worst areas respond to the treatment, TPWD/GCSNA may be able to move into plantings in phase one as well. It is estimated that total project will cost approximately $100,000. So additional funding will be necessary and we will be working with our supporters and friends in the future so this extremely important project can be completed. If you are interested in helping out on this project, please let me Superindendent Chris Holm know.  Thanks!

Peter Grojean, President