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Contact: Seth Hendriks, 507-825-5464 ext 222
Pipestone National Monument News Release
For Immediate Release 4/4/18
Contact: Seth Hendriks, Natural Resources Manager, Pipestone National Monument
PIPESTONE NATIONAL MONUMENT PLANS PRESCRIBED BURN
Pipestone, MN — Pipestone National Monument has scheduled a prescribed burn during the period of April 23 – May 19, 2018. When appropriate wind, temperature, and humidity conditions exist within this date range, approximately 100 acres of the tall grass prairie will be burned. Additional information will be provided to park neighbors and the media when the appropriated conditions are forecasted and the specific date of the prescribed burn is determined.
Historically, the 18 million acres of native tall grass prairie that once covered the central plains, including Minnesota, experienced repeated lightning-caused fires. The continual burning of the prairie reduced the buildup of accumulated organic plant material and suppressed the growth of woody tree and shrub species. This in turn ensured native prairie growth by recycling essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, and trace minerals, and decreasing plant competition from invading exotic species.
Less than one percent of the original tall grass prairie in Minnesota remains. This loss has greatly changed the probability of lightning-ignited fires. Controlled burns are conducted to mimic the benefits that fire produces for a healthy prairie. The Monument has been conducting controlled burns of the tall grass prairie since 1971. Because of management efforts such as the use of prescribed fire, the hand removal of exotic vegetation, and the broadcast of native prairie seed, long-term monitoring data indicates a decrease in non-native exotic vegetation, along with an increase in native tall grass prairie at the Monument.
If you would like further information on the prescribed fire program at the monument, please call Natural Resources Manager Seth Hendriks at 507-825-5464.