Restoration of glades, barrens and woodlands, to areas where they once occurred, 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 the reintroduction of fire. If needed, thinning to reduce overstory canopy cover, or clearing to remove encroaching woody growth might be needed prior to burning.
Because many sites are still in a remnant wooded condition the response to fire and increased sunlight 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 on the site. Areas of bottomland hardwoods converted to cropland and pasture, especially along streams and rivers should also be restored.
Reforestation on these sites should lead to the development of a natural and structurally diverse forest system which complements the riparian landscape in which it is restored. Examples of efforts by the CHJV to restore natural communities across the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region can be found on the Implementation.