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Old 08-06-2009, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default NE- Using fire as a tool of change

Using fire as a tool of change
By Robert Pore
Published: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:52 PM CDT

The Independent > Archives > News > Local > Using fire as a tool of change
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From battling wildfires to using fire to improve farmland productivity and enhancing wildlife habitat, David Carr, range management specialist for the Central Platte Natural Resources District, knows both the value and danger of fire.

What was nature's tool to bring balance to the vast grasslands of the Great Plains, is now something dreaded by its human inhabitants. But like nature, fire in the right hands continues to be an important tool to bring balance to the land.
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"His message that prescribed fire is a safe and very effective conservation tool has reached hundreds of landowners," Lee said.
She said Carr had an uphill battle coming to central Nebraska to educate and train landowners about how fire can be used to help pastures and wetlands.

"Since then, the program has expanded greatly beyond the Central Platte NRD boundaries," Lee said. "David has implemented a statewide council that will be a great management tool for many years to come."

Milt Moravek, Central Platte NRD assistant manager, also echoed Lee's praise for Carr's work in establishing the NRD's Prescribed Fire Program.
Moravek said Carr has "personally trained hundreds of NRD employees, NRCS employees, and landowners to help carry out prescribed conservation burns."

"The Prescribed Fire Program has been successful with reduced cedar encroachment, improved wildlife habitat, pastures and wetlands," Moravek said.
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These invasive species, such as Eastern red cedar, can take away natural grassland acres that is necessary for grazing as well as for wildlife. In addition, Carr said rangelands that are always grazed in the fall or winter with no spring treatment may become areas dominated by native and non- native cool season grasses and invasive weeds.

These areas, he said, offer a reduced food value to livestock and are of reduced value to native wildlife.

When prescribed fire is used along with appropriate grazing practices, Carr sid the result is increased economic output and wildlife benefit.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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He has also organized and heads up the Nebraska Prescribed Fire Safety Council Web site: www.cpnrd.org/Fire%20Council/index.htm.

If you go to the NRD website, you can click on its Prescribed Fire page and/or the Nebraska Prescribed Fire page www.cpnrd.org.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Amazon.com: Fire Ecology: United States and Southern Canada (Wiley Classics in Ecology and Environmental Science) (9780471090335): Henry A. Wright, Arthur W. Bailey: Books

I just finished reading excerpts from Henry Wright's Fire Ecology - wherein
he discusses the relationship between Fire, Lodgepole Pine and Pine Beetles in Montana. The supression of fire encourages the beetle populations to clean up dead wood. They may decide to take the whole forest.

Last edited by Cirsium; 07-31-2010 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Repaired link
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:43 PM   #4
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Fire suppression has caused huge problems in the alluvial bluffs along the Illinois River as well. We have been re-introducing fire and getting amazing results. Increased understory and grassland growth, reduced erosion, improved water quality and subsequently less sediment in the Illinois River.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:47 PM   #5
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Hazelnut, would you please start a thread for the book you read in our new Book Review forum?
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