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Prescribed fire planned at Bordeaux Creek WMA

CHADRON, Neb. – A habitat restoration project at Bordeaux Creek Wildlife Management Area east of Chadron will soon get a boost by the use of prescribed fire. The burning is set to occur within an area comprising about 10 percent of the 1,841-acre property when conditions are favorable in the coming month.

The projected burn area, which is just south of U.S. Highway 20 in the northcentral part of the property, is outside of the pine forest and consists primarily of smooth brome grass with limited plant diversity.

Rick Arnold, an area land manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said burns during summer and fall, such as this one, can help set back undesirable plants that invade native prairies and other grasslands.

Green vegetation in summer and early fall slows the rate of burn, making fires more predictable. In the case of this property, cattle grazing early this summer helped lower the amount of burnable plants and grasses on the property. That is expected to reduce the fire’s intensity.

Summer and fall burns, if used in conjunction with grazing, can set back smooth brome, increase diversity in grasslands and improve habitat for wildlife.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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