Adding wildlife habitat may help landowners

By Debbie Dalhouse

Wildlife HabitatClemson scientists are studying ways to stabilize farm income by including wildlife habitats in land management practices. They are evaluating a series of conservation practices on 2,300 acres at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence. The study is developing habitats for wildlife, fish, waterfowl and songbirds on the center’s lake, wetlands, upland fields and forests.

This research will provide science-based information for landowners to compare return-on-investment for practices recommended by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Farmers who implement these practices can recover up to 75% of their cost through the federal Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. In addition, they can earn additional income by leasing rights for hunting, fishing and wildlife observation.

Clemson wildlife biologist Greg Yarrow is leading the research effort. He is joined by Clemson wildlife biologists T.J. Savereno and Bill Bowerman, agronomists Jim Frederick and Ed Murdock, and graduate student Laura Knipp. Research partners include Francis Marion University, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Ducks Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the USDA Wildlife Habitat Management Institute.

For information: Greg Yarrow, 864-656-7370,