Park plans prescribed burn in May
PIPESTONE NATIONAL MONUMENT - PLANS PRESCRIBED BURN
(Pipestone, MN) Superintendent Glen Livermont announced today that Pipestone National Monument has scheduled a prescribed burn during the period of May 10 – June 1, 2010. When appropriate wind, temperature, and humidity conditions exist between these dates, approximately 86 acres of tall grass prairie will be burned.
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 also 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. Therefore, to mimic the benefits that fire produces for a healthy prairie, controlled burns are conducted. This is the 39th consecutive year the Monument will conduct a controlled burn of the tall grass prairie. 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 Superintendent Glen Livermont at 507-825-5464.