It’s been four decades of hard work, but Bob and Mickey Burleson haven’t quit working to undo the damages done to 500 acres of prairie in Bell County from cropping and livestock overgrazing and their efforts have resulted in a model for native tallgrass prairie. Not only have they done a great job, they are one of the recipients of this years Texas Lone Star Land Steward awards.
By collecting and planting local ecotype native seed from area hay meadow prairie remnants, removal of invasive plants and use of various management tools, the Burlesons have successfully restored tallgrass prairie. Restoration of native tallgrass prairie has re-created habitat for grassland birds, the most declining group of birds in North America.
Native tallgrass prairie once occupied more than 20 million acres in Texas, now reduced to less than one percent of that and even less in the Blackland Prairie.
Both Bob and Mickey Burleson are former members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and founding members of the Native Prairies Association of Texas. They co-authored a tallgrass restoration guide, “The New Southern Reconstruction — Home Grown Prairies” and host numerous landowner field days.