Posts Tagged ‘prescribed fire’

The Importance of Prescribed Fire in Habitat Management

Friday, April 26th, 2013

This spring, Pheasants Forever and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources teamed up for a 150-acre prescribed burn on the Hull Wildlife Management Area in Mahaska County.

This spring, Pheasants Forever and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources teamed up for a 150-acre prescribed burn on the Hull Wildlife Management Area in Mahaska County.

It’s taken a long time this year, but winter’s icy stranglehold across the upper Midwest has finally begun to relent . . . we hope!  Meteorologists are forecasting a balmy April weekend ahead which should liquefy the last remaining piles of snow throughout most of the pheasant range.  Finally, we’re at spring’s doorstep, which means it’s a perfect time to start thinking about habitat management.

One of the most important tools for improving habitat is prescribed fire.  Controlled burning in early spring accomplishes three main objectives in habitat management.  First, burning limits the growth of woody vegetation helping maintain the prairie as a distinct ecosystem.  Second, the fire burns off the duff layer of built up plant matter that hasn’t fully decayed over the last few years.  Third, prescribed burning releases the nutrients bound in the plant litter stimulating vigorous new growth, which is more attractive nesting covers for ground nesting birds.

Burns can be very dangerous if not done properly.  Grasses produce extremely hot fires and can spread rapidly.  Pheasants Forever’s habitat specialists and chapter volunteer burn crews are trained in completing safe and effective prescribed burns in many of the pheasant range states.

Prescribed fire can be an especially important tool in the mid-contract management of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands, as well as on state and federally managed wildlife lands.

What’s the biggest limitation to utilizing prescribed fire as a habitat management tool?

The answer: the general public does not understand the value of prescribed fire to the prairie ecosystem.  Fire is widely viewed as bad.

Stop and think about it for a moment; what maintained prairies as unique ecosystems prior to urbanization?  The answer: Massive grass fires started by lightning.

A well-planned and safely executed prescribed burn is an incredibly successful way to manage habitat for pheasants and quail.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

VIDEO: Pheasants Forever Prairie Burn

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Pheasants Forever and one its habitat teams worked with Kruger Farms to revitalize the restored and natural prairie on the company’s gear testing farm in western Minnesota. Bob St. Pierre of Pheasants Forever explains why prescribed fires are essential in maintaining a proper prairie ecosystem.

Prairie Burn from Krugerfarms.com on Vimeo.

Field Notes are compiled by Anthony Hauck Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Burn Baby Burn

Thursday, March 15th, 2012


 

The arrival of an early spring has put one song on replay in my head, “Disco Inferno” by the Trampps.  At Pheasants Forever, it’s the theme song of spring.  

 

Controlled burning in early spring accomplishes two main objectives in habitat management.  First, burning limits the growth of woody and other unwanted vegetation, thereby maintaining the prairie as a distinct ecosystem.  Second, prescribed burning releases the nutrients bound in the plant litter, stimulating vigorous new growth. 

 

A Pheasants Forever prescribed burn to reinvigorate grassland habitat.

Grass burns can be very dangerous if not done properly.  Grasses produce extremely hot fires and can spread rapidly.  Pheasants Forever’s habitat specialists and chapter volunteer burn crews are trained in completing safe and effective prescribed burns in many of the pheasant range states.

 

Prescribed burning can be an especially important tool in the mid-contract management of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands, as well as on state and federally managed wildlife lands. 

 

What’s the biggest limitation to utilizing prescribed fire as a habitat management tool? 

The answer: the general public does not understand the value of prescribed fire to the prairie ecosystem.  Fire is widely viewed as bad. 

 

A Pheasants Forever burn crew

Stop and think about it for a moment; what maintained prairies as unique ecosystems prior to urbanization?  The answer: massive grass fires started by lightning.

 

When it comes to habitat, fire is our friend.  So, BURN BABY BURN!

 

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

 

Burn Baby Burn

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Prescribed fire is an important habitat management tool.

“Burn baby burn.”  For some, those words evoke the classic “Disco Inferno” hit by The Trampps.  Maybe you’re like me and instantly envision Bill Murray’s character in the comedy classic Kingpin.  At Pheasants Forever, it’s the theme song of spring.  

Controlled burning in early spring accomplishes two main objectives in habitat management.  First, burning limits the growth of woody and other unwanted vegetation, thereby maintaining the prairie as a distinct ecosystem.  Second, prescribed burning releases the nutrients bound in the plant litter, stimulating vigorous new growth. 

Grass burns can be very dangerous if not done properly.  Grasses produce extremely hot fires and can spread rapidly.  PF’s habitat specialists and chapter volunteer burn crews are trained in completing safe and effective prescribed burns in many of the pheasant range states.

Prescribed burning can be an especially important tool in the mid-contract management of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands, as well as on state and federally managed wildlife lands. 

What’s the biggest limitation to utilizing prescribed fire as a habitat management tool? 

The answer: the general public does not understand the value of prescribed fire to the prairie ecosystem.  Fire is widely viewed as bad. 

Stop and think about it for a moment; what maintained prairies as unique ecosystems prior to urbanization?  The answer: massive grass fires started by lightning.

When it comes to habitat, fire is our friend.  So, BURN BABY BURN!

A Pheasants Forever burn crew from Minnesota.