Restoration of glades, barrens, and woodlands provides the most diverse and resilient habitat for woodland birds. Many of these sites are presently in either a closed-canopy condition or have been severely overtaken by cedars and other woody growth. Efforts to restore these degraded woodland communities should begin with proper site selection and reintroduction of fire. Thinning to reduce overstory canopy cover or clearing to remove encroaching woody growth may be necessary prior to burning. Because many sites are still in a remnant wooded condition, reintroducing fire and increasing sunlight to the ground often results in a floristically diverse understory of native grasses and forbs. Areas severely degraded by agricultural conversion or invasive plants may require herbicide treatments to remove non-native vegetation, followed by restoring native grasses and forbs.
Bottomland hardwoods converted to cropland and pasture, especially along streams and rivers, should also be restored. Restoration of these sites should lead to the development of natural, structurally diverse, forest systems that complement the riparian landscape in which they are located. Examples of efforts by the CHJV to restore natural communities across the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region can be found on the Implementation page.