Two-and-a-half million acres of southwestern Louisiana’s Cajun Prairie has been displaced by agriculture, development, and petroleum extraction. The prairie’s loss has been so complete for so long that most residents were not aware that it ever existed. That has changed, however, due in large part to the guests on this panel. During this session we will explore how discovering the last prairie remnants on old railroad beds led to a realization of the interdependence of prairie and fire, which resulted in the first successful restorations in the region. Their discovery of the “lost” Cajun Prairie, and their investigations into the “unseen” drivers that determined the fate of that prairie, can provide inspiration to practitioners throughout the United States.
Remediation / Brownfields
Health, Safety and Welfare
To understand the dynamics that resulted in the historic Cajun Prairies of Louisiana
To understand the requirements for restoring the Cajun Prairie in the contemporary ecological environment.
To show how the investigations into the history and restoration of the Cajun Prairie could be replicated in other parts of the country where a regionally dominant plant community has been lost.
Dr. Charles Allen, Dr. Malcolm Vidrine, Marc Pastorek, & Larry Weaner, FAPLD
New Directions in the American Landscape