CURE has always been an adaptive program designed to change as we learned more about habitat enhancement opportunities and economic factors. Beginning in 2007, focus in the western Piedmont shifted from the single county of Iredell to the promotion of native warm season grasses (NWSG) over a larger area including Iredell and several adjacent counties. Wildlife responses have been slow, but we are making progress in changing the way cattle farmers think about grasses. Many producers are transitioning portions of their operations from fescue to more wildlife-friendly native grasses. Much work remains to capture significant wildlife benefits by increasing the number and quality of these conversions.
The other two original CURE cooperatives remained a vital part of CURE through 2009, but agency financial assistance ceased. Much was learned from work on these cooperatives that has informed future agency decisions as we have moved forward as described in Today’s CURE.