Benton County Prairie Conservation Strategy

The Benton County Prairie Conservation Strategy has been developed to educate citizens and land managers about at-risk habitat and species in Benton County, and to provide voluntary long-term strategies for conservation on both public and private lands. The Strategy is the result of input from local citizens and land managers who participated in meetings, workshops, and a web based survey. The Benton County
Habitat Conservation Plan Stakeholder Advisory and Technical Advisory Committees guided the goals and objectives of the Strategy, as well as provided technical information on species and habitats (Benton County 2010). The information in this Strategy provides a reference for landowners and land managers to recognize at-risk habitat and species, and understand where these species occur in Benton County. This
information is useful for planning efforts to protect listed species and reintroduce species no longer locally present.

Habitat loss due to land use change and invasive species has led to the decline of many species locally and worldwide. Conservation actions on privately owned land are essential for protection of unique habitats and rare species that occur across multiple ownerships. Several chapters in this Strategy provide additional information specifically for voluntary private landowner conservation actions. This information is appropriate
both for those who wish to collaborate on projects with public agencies or who are interested in working independently. For those working independently, relevant chapters in this guide include Chapter 3: Species habitat needs, Chapter 5: Habitat conservation guide for private lands, and Chapter 6: Landowner incentives and opportunities. It is hoped that local citizens will utilize the information in this Strategy
to learn about local conservation efforts and to participate where possible.