FDCE's core business is focused on providing establishment services to landowners enrolled in government conservation programs such as CRP, CREP and ACEP (WRP). Since 2003, we have been helping landowners understand and complete their establishment obligations according to their contract requirements. We provide the following components:
Since 2003, FDCE has been working with USFWS staff to complete conservation projects on both public and private land. Our past projects have included:
Additionally, we are currently working on projects with USFWS staff focused on monarch and pollinator habitat. Our focus is on whole field diverse forb nectaring habitat in conjunction with common milkweed patches. USFWS staff have been instrumental in helping us to innovate and prove new techniques for conservation practices, such as experimenting with micronutrients that promote seedling vigor at time of germination and effects of different row spacing on native grass and forb establishment.
Since 2009, FDCE has been awarded 6 USDA contracts to complete backlogged USDA easement projects. Additionally, we have been awarded numerous other USDA contracts to help manage existing USDA easements. By awarding statewide easement restoration contracts to FDCE, USDA state offices have been able to complete multi-year backlog of unfinished restoration projects in as short as 2 years. By offering a complete package of services including: native grass seed and establishment, tree establishment, wetland construction and all associated services including discing, herbicide application, mowing and invasive species removal, government agencies are free of headaches associated with multiple contractors working on one project.
FDCE has been specializing in pollinator habitat establishment since 2006 following a collaborative effort with US Fish and Wildlife service biologists to increase forb/pollinator diversity in conservation projects. Since that time, we have planted thousands of acres of pollinator habitat in conjunction with federal and state funded projects. Due to our growing expertise in this field, FDCE was recruited to be part of a team that received a Conservation Innovation Grant through NRCS titled "Integrating Pollinators into Bioenergy Crops." We are now considered leading experts in pollinator habitat establishment and are regularly consulted by conservation groups and agencies regarding pollinator best management practices.
FDCE has converted land to native prairie habitat under transmission lines for Amren, Commonwealth Edison, ITC and Mid-America Power. Once the native prairie is established under the power lines it can reduce woody encroachment and with proper prescribed burn management can eliminate the need for herbicide to control woody species. Additionally, these plantings have been shown to provide significant travel corridors for wildlife from butterflies and neotropical migrant songbirds to game species such as turkeys, quail, pheasants and deer.
FDCE has been assisting with the management of state wildlife areas since 2007. The projects have typically been funded through grants supported by programs such as Wildlife Restoration Pittman-Robertson funds and NGO's such as NWTF, PF and DU. Through these partnerships, FDCE has completed thousands of acres of restoration/management on approximately 120 different state wildlife management areas in 9 states.