There are many reasons why blackland prairie has been lost in West
Alabama, and why what remains is in a highly fragmented state.
Conversion of prairie land to agriculture (cotton, soybeans, etc.) and
the soil disturbance associated with this destroys the prairie
ecosystem. Cattle grazing and residential expansion are also detrimental
to blackland prairie. Some land that has historically been blackland
prairie is currently being used for timber production, and most pine
plantations are not managed to allow for species other than pine trees.
Aquaculture is another important industry in West Alabama and
construction of fish ponds also destroys prairie habitat. That being
said, landowners are not villains in the blackland prairie, they need to
be able to make a return on their investment. We hope to forge
partnerships with landowners and industries in the region to work
blackland prairie into their property management plans wherever
Photo taken by: Robby Limerick