Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation from the Countryside to Your Backyard

There are nearly 2 billion acres of land in the conterminous United States. About 70 percent of that land is privately owned and its care is in the hands of those who live and work on it. Most of that land, 1.4 billion acres, is managed by farmers and ranchers. More than 92 million acres of land—an area the size of California—is privately developed and much of it is tended by homeowners. Farmers and ranchers use conservation plans to help them apply practices that meet their production objectives and protect soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources. You may want to develop a plan for your own backyard to help you apply conservation measures that fit your needs. Or maybe, for now, you’d like to try just a few of the activities in this book.

Firewise Landscaping in North Carolina

Do you live in a home or community that is tucked into the woods or surrounded by marsh or shrubs? Then your home may be at risk of exposure to wildfire. You can use firewise landscaping practices to create a survivable space around your home and reduce your risk of damage from a wildfire.

Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants

North Carolina’s native plants provide well-adapted food and cover for North Carolina’s native animals, and a well-planned landscape of native plants can help you attract a diversity of wildlife to your property. Native North Carolina plants also are well-suited to the state’s soils and climate and require relatively little upkeep, once established on an appropriate site. However, the spread of exotic plants poses a threat to native plants and animals of North Carolina. This publication describes the problems associated with some exotic plants and presents a detailed list of native plants that may be used in place of these foreign ornamentals to attract wildlife to your property.

Turner House

The Turner House is home to the North Carolina State University Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Program. The grounds around the building are designed to be a demonstration of how to create a wildlife friendly area by landscaping with native plants. Before these landscaping improvements were made, the grounds were relatively barren and contained mostly exotic plant species that had little wildlife value. With University faculty providing oversight, students in the Department of Horticultural Science designed the landscape to provide excellent wildlife habitat in an attractive setting. Students from the Leopold Wildlife Club at NC State helped remove the exotic plants, install North Carolina native plants, and create paths. You are invited to walk along the paths using this brochure, the plant identification tags, and your senses to learn more about landscaping for wildlife with native plants.