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Desert/Arid Land

Restoration Research at Red Rock Canyon State Park
Our efforts for this project were originally focused on the recovery of native annual species, which have been extremely slow to reappear in the more disturbed areas of the South Flat. Desert annuals in the Mojave are an important food source for the endangered desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and other desert wildlife. Our initial objectives were also to evaluate micro-nutrient availability and mycorrhizal activity along a disturbance gradient and to use these findings to create a restoration scheme that would enhance the establishment of desert annuals.

Restoring South Africa’s Desertified Karoo
This project took place on my farm Frijnsfontein, which lies about 20 km from Klipdrift. This particular area sits atop a mountain and averages over 500 mm (20 inches) of rain yearly. The initial response resulting from the rotational grazing was quite phenomenal. This new management coupled with a series of good seasons changed the look of Klipdrift quite a bit. My folks even found a Cenchrus ciliaris (blue buffalo grass) plant, which created quite a bit of excitement.

Byrdie Hill – Arid Recovery beyond Mining Restoration
An ecosystem restoration initiative in South Australia’s arid zone based around a 60 square km fenced reserve near Roxby Downs. It has proven to be a unique partnership between industry, education, government and community.

Semi-Arid Land Restoration in Kuppam, South India
Ramji Raghavan had been a witness to a major land restoration effort in his Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. “Before I studied there, it was a barren piece of land. Twenty years after I left, it was declared as a national bird preserve,” says Raghavan. The former principal of Rishi Valley, S. Balasundaram, had got the land restored to pristine condition. Raghavan is an admirer of his teacher Balasundaram. He wanted to repeat this story in his foundation’s campus as well.

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