Project seeks plant restoration at former oil and gas sites

Associated Press

Project seeks plant restoration at former oil and gas sites

MANCELONA, Mich. (AP) — State officials are teaming with a private environmental education program in a study of ways to restore vegetation at sites where oil and gas wells have been developed.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is conducting the research with the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies near Mancelona.

The study will focus on 10 abandoned well and facility sites in the northern Lower Peninsula on state forest land managed by the DNR.

ConocoPhillips has provided some funding for the five-year project.

Institute Director Fred Van Dyke says techniques will be tested for successfully replanting damaged areas and promoting return of native cover trees and grasses while discouraging invasive species growth.

Van Dyke has developed an experimental design to evaluate success rates of four tree species, native understory grasses and wildflowers.

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