Covia Holdings LLC
Roff, OK Plant
Roff, Oklahoma, United States
Certified Silver through 2022
Covia (Roff) WHC Grasslands
About the Program
Covia Holdings Corporation maintains a silica mine that opened in 1913 in Roff, Oklahoma, 80 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The company has initiated several conservation projects on 253 acres of its land, fostering forest habitat, grasslands and a series of wetland and pond habitats. The team aims to maintain their well-established forest habitat by removing invasive species such as wild pigs and cedar trees, installing structures to provide bird and bat habitat, and managing the wetlands as quality habitat for wildlife. In addition, the company is required to fill, grade and revegetate areas disturbed by mining activities, resulting in a grassland habitat restoration project with a goal to return all of these areas to their pre-settlement tallgrass prairie conditions, with a thriving community of native plants and wildlife.
Practices and Impacts
- The removal of the invasive red cedar species has opened large sections of the 50-acre forest for new flora to grow. Large fauna such as deer, bobcat and coyotes have been observed in the area, and felled trees are being used for animal shelter.
- Through game monitoring cameras, wild pigs were identified as a major problem on-site, and are now are being removed via hunting and trapping.
- Bat and bird houses have been installed and the project is exploring expansion to support raptor species.
- In the 122-acre grassland project, reclamation was completed in the fall of 2019, with rye grass planted on the hillside for soil stabilization. Invasive plants like bull thistle and Johnson grass were removed. In the spring of 2020, native plant species and wildflower seeds were planted to provide food for pollinators, with future plans to plant native shrubs for hillside grazing. Rotational mowing is used to provide a variety of grass heights to benefit wildlife and clear the way for beneficial species such as ragweed and milwort which are food sources for quail. Based on monitoring data, a vegetative feed corridor for quail was built, and a 50% increase in quail on the property has been observed. In the future, the team intends to establish a pollinator garden and a bee colony.
- The wetland project consists of a 20-acre farm pond and a total of 20 acres of other on-site waterbodies. The project provides an important source of water for animal species in this historically dry part of the country and is important to the interconnectivity of the other habitats. The farm pond’s water level was augmented to allow native vegetation to grow there year-round. Mature fish are transplanted from well-stocked ponds to ones with lower populations to increase biodiversity and control vegetation in the waterbodies. The fish attract migratory birds, whose movement increases biodiversity by transplanting fish eggs and aquatic plant seeds to neighboring ponds. Monitoring efforts have shown a variety of native plant and animal species, including predator species such as raptors and cranes. Given the success in attracting migratory species, future work will involve wood duck houses and improved tracking of nest box hatches.
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