California has started to restore its once-thriving grasslands, but experts are worried that the once-proud landscape may not last as long.
The state is hoping to get a second harvest of grasslands planted in the coming months, and this is expected to bring the total number of acres of the grasslands to 3.5 million acres, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The goal of the state’s effort is to restore more than half of the more than 100 million acres of grassland in the state.
“The goal is to get the second harvest in by May,” said Chris Brown, a wildlife biologist with the state Fish and Game Department.
California has started the restoration effort by planting 2 million acres.
The first harvest is set for next year.
The state also wants to double the amount of rain it receives, which will increase the amount it can store.
Brown said that means that by April, California will have enough water for 2.2 million acres — about 30 percent of the original state total.
In the past, California was able to store enough water to plant about 4 million acres and have enough for 4 million more in a single year.
“If you’re a Californian, this is a big deal,” said Steve McNeil, a senior scientist with the University of California-Davis, which has been studying the grassland restoration efforts.
“The first harvest in April and the second one in May will put the state on track to get some real rainfall for the coming summer,” McNeil said.