Burning For Good Reasons

At the Platte River Prairies, we conduct prescribed burns for various purposes.  Some fires are intended to kill eastern red cedar trees or to suppress cool-season invasive grasses.  Other fires are aimed at removing thatch and old vegetative growth –…

What’s the Best Time to Burn?

As I mentioned last week, prescribed fire can help meet many prairie management objectives.  It’s important, however, to match the timing of the burn to those objectives in order to avoid conducting a fire that is either unproductive or counterproductive. …

Konza Prairie Trip Part 3 – Questions About Frequent Prairie Burning

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our trip to the Konza Prairie Biological Station in eastern Kansas.  On that trip, we learned about research results showing that frequent spring fires (one or two year frequency) can prevent encroachment of…

2014 Patch-Burn Grazing Meeting – Platte River Prairies, Nebraska

Curious about patch-burn grazing?  Want to get together with other grassland enthusiasts, ranchers, researchers, and wildlife managers and talk about a variety of ways to manage for diverse wildlife habitats and plant communities?  The annual Patch-Burn Grazing Meeting might just…

2014 Woodland Burning at the Rulo Bluffs Preserve

I made a trip down to our Rulo Bluffs Preserve last week.  I wanted to get down and see the results of the prescribed fire we conducted earlier this spring.  We’re in a restoration mode at the site, trying to…

Busy Burning

I apologize for not having a pithy and thought-provoking post this week.  I’m actually working on a couple different ideas, but was interrupted by a couple days of good prescribed fire weather.  We had a long day yesterday and today looks like it’ll…

Lessons From a Project to Improve Prairie Quality – Part 1: Patch-Burn Grazing, Plant Diversity, and Butterflies

We recently completed a large multi-year restoration and management project at our Platte River Prairies.  Our specific objectives were to improve habitat quality for various at-risk prairie species and evaluate the impacts of our management on at-risk butterflies – particularly…

Regal Fritillary Butterflies in Burned and Grazed Prairie

We’ve been conducting field surveys of regal fritillary butterflies for the last three years.  During that time, we’ve learned a lot about how those butterflies are responding our prairie management and restoration work.  So far, there are two overwhelming lessons…

Saving Nebraska’s Oak Woodlands… by Burning Them

Last week, I helped arrange a tour of recently-burned oak woodlands at Indian Cave State Park, an eastern Nebraska site owned and managed by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.  Indian Cave State Park is one of very few deciduous woodlands…