What is restoring bottomland hardwood forests? A study from the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley
The interest in changing the use of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV) floodplain has been gathering momentum. Recent changes in Federal farm programs, heightened awareness of the value of forested wetlands and increasingly productive farming practices have allowed for consideration of land use changes. Marginal agricultural land in the LMAV, cleared at the time of soaring soybean prices, is no longer looked upon as being favorable only for agriculture. These lands, usually deemed marginal because of seasonal high water, are being offered for reforestation. These once forested tracts of land are being converted from row agriculture back to some form of a bottomland hardwood ecosystem. The author discusses reforestation efforts in the LMAV and offers recommendations based on work within the 1992 Wetland Reserve Program contracts and on-site evaluations.