My post on our August 12 prescribed fires generated a lot of interest and comments. I’m glad the post was interesting to people and I was once again gratified by the tone and content of the comments. This blog has over 5,000 subscribers and many others that read it, and yet I’ve had incredibly few problematic comments and commenters over the years. Thank you for that.
Since there was so much interest, I thought I’d provide a quick update on the fire today. The photos here were all taken earlier today. We’ve put up some small exclosures that will help us gauge the impact of the immediate grazing on the vegetation – both this fall and into next year – and will be doing some quantitative evaluation of woody plant impacts. Those results will have to wait, but these photos can at least give you a brief look at how the burned areas look 11 days after the fire. All these photos are from the second unit we burned last week, a former cropland planted to high-diversity prairie in 1994.
I’ll try to continue updates as the year goes along. Thanks again for the productive discussion that has arisen around last week’s post. We’re all experimenting and learning, so the conversation is productive for me and I hope it’s helpful to you as well. I really do appreciate this community.
Thank you for the great posts. I really look forward to them. Although my first degree was range management, which was used occasionally in my career, your posts bring me back in a good way to that education so let long ago.
Thanks so much for this. Great information!
If you want an ecosystem in balance – i.e. low maintenance – you need the whole historic set of grazers; including prairie dogs and pocket gophers etc, as well as the predators keeping them in balance of course. Fire and cattle isn’t enough; just like bison only was one part of the ecosystem. People always want quick and cheap solutions with only advantages, but that’s not the way a sustainable world works. Never did and never will.
The ecological concept happening is the secondary succession.
The species that will establish and their dominance will depend on the seeds in soil stock. However, depending on the characteristics of the fire ( intensity, duration…), some invaders may establish also.
Monitoring of the vegetation through time will allow to understand the real impact of this disturbance (fire).
thanks for sending post fire photos and comments. I look forward to seeing the progress