Calcasieu Soil and Water Conservation District
Dave Daigle, his wife Mary Ann, and daughter Clara Ann raise cattle in southwestern Louisiana. Since 1982, The Daigles have used prescribed grazing on their native grassland/savannah to maintain the prairie and improve soil health and are “beginning to understand the role improved soil health plays in habitat maintenance.”
“We graze native longleaf pine habitat with Braford cattle on open savannah,” Dave told NACD. “Grassland is very species diverse and we use natural fire and grazing to maintain diversity. Maintaining diversity is essential.”
The Daigles say their experiences using soil health practices have all been positive. “Proper grazing and prescribed fire help to maintain the grassland by inhibiting brush encroachment,” Dave said, keeping “it a savannah, or put even more simply, ‘a prairie with trees on it.'”
Dave says he hasn’t had any issues with local or state governments restricting his use of prescribed fire. In fact, “the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has been and continues to be very supportive of the use of fire as a management tool,” he said. But because of urban encroachment and an increase in residential developments, he is concerned prescribed fire may become a sticking point for community planners and local governments in the future.