Basic Prescribed Burn Workshop offered April 4 |

Basic Prescribed Burn Workshop offered April 4

Scott Lockwood
Southern Panhandle Prescribed Burn Assn.

As the window for spring prescribed burning approaches, the Southern Panhandle Prescribed Burn Association (SPPBA) is holding a basic prescribed burn workshop to help further prepare landowners for management burns on area Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands.

The association, which formed early this year, was developed by landowners who will assist each other to perform burns on CRP land that requires management action. The group was started by landowners from Deuel, Cheyenne, Kimball and Garden Counties, and has since grown to include Banner County.

Fire has become a valuable tool across the state for a variety of purposes: invasive species control, wildfire fuel reduction, and wildlife habitat and grazing lands improvement to increase plant diversity, rejuvenate shrubs and set back cool-season grasses. When done properly, prescribed burning produces a “cool” fire that suppresses many undesirable plants through proper timing and intensity of the burn. It can also stimulate growth by reducing competition and removing excessive plant residue.

Safety is a key to a successful prescribed burn, and a properly planned and executed burn greatly reduces the risks of harm to untargeted property and those performing burns.

To that end, wildlife biologists from the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and Pheasants Forever will join Doug Whisenhunt, state prescribed burn and grazing specialist with the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, to show attendees the intricacies of a successful prescribed burn.

The association also has a number of training burns planned in the coming weeks.

Registration for the workshop, which will be held in the South Platte Natural Resources District meeting room in Sidney, Neb., begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 4, 2011. Lunch will be provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the workshop will wrap up around 4 p.m.

Landowners who are not yet members of the association are welcome to attend and may become members at the workshop.

For more information on the association, contact Scott Lockwood at (308) 235-5623, Chris Ray at (308) 874-2456, or Larry Rutt at (308) 874-2982.

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