LINCOLN, Neb. – Prescribed burns are planned this spring on some Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife management areas (WMA), state parks (SP), state recreation areas (SRA) and state historical parks (SHP) where weather conditions allow.
Historically, wildlife habitats were shaped by wildfires that occurred throughout the year. Burns can help set back undesirable plants that invade native woodlands and prairies, as well as other grass and wooded areas. Eastern red cedar trees, honey locust, buckbrush, sumac, dogwood, and other undesirable deciduous trees and shrubs can be managed with the help of burns.
Prescribed burning, if used in conjunction with grazing, can set back smooth brome and Kentucky bluegrass, increase diversity in grasslands and improve habitat for wildlife. Burned acres often become more attractive to wildlife species and for some species this effect is immediate. The long-term effects on wildlife habitat are much better if prescribed burning is used as a management tool than if habitat is not burned.
Burning throughout the year allows habitat managers to spread their workload out and positively impact more acres. Burns will be conducted this spring and some of those not completed will be attempted this fall as weather conditions allow on the following areas:
Butler County — Redtail WMA; Cass County — Eugene T. Mahoney SP, Randall W. Schilling WMA; Douglas County – Two Rivers WMA; Fillmore County — Green Wing WMA; Gage County — Diamond Lake WMA; Jefferson County — Alexandria WMA, Alexandria SW WMA, Flathead WMA, Rock Creek Station SHP/SRA; Johnson County — Hickory Ridge WMA, Osage WMA, Twin Oaks WMA; Lancaster County — Bluestem WMA/SRA, Branched Oak WMA/SRA, Hedgefield WMA, Olive Creek WMA, Yankee Hill WMA; Nemaha County — Langdon Bend WMA, Aspinwall Bend WMA; Otoe County — Triple Creek WMA; Pawnee County — Burchard WMA, Lores Branch WMA, Table Rock WMA, Taylor’s Branch WMA; Polk County — Flatsedge WMA; Richardson County — South Fork WMA; Saline County — Divoky WMA; Saunders County — Bramble WMA; Seward County – Oak Glen WMA, Straight Water WMA; Thayer County — Little Blue WMA, Little Blue East WMA; York County — Marsh Duck WMA.
Buffalo County — Bassway Strip WMA; Chase County — Enders Reservoir WMA/SRA, Wanamaker WMA; Clay County — Bluewing WMA, Bulrush WMA, Whitefront WMA; Custer County — Arcadia Diversion WMA; Dawson County — Darr Strip WMA, Dogwood WMA; Frontier/Red Willow Counties — Red Willow Reservoir WMA/SRA; Furnas County — Cambridge Diversion Dam WMA; Hall County — Cornhusker WMA; Hayes County — Hayes Center WMA; Hitchcock County — Swanson Reservoir WMA/SRA; Howard County — Marsh Wren WMA; Keith County — Clear Creek WMA; Nuckolls County — Smartweed Marsh WMA; Phelps County — Sacramento-Wilcox WMA; Sherman County — Sherman Reservoir WMA/SRA; Webster County — Indian Creek WMA, Narrows WMA.
Antelope County — Grove Lake WMA, Hackberry Creek WMA, Red Wing WMA; Brown County — Keller Park WMA; Burt County — Summit Lake SRA; Cedar County — Wiseman WMA; Dakota County – Danish Alps SRA; Dixon County — Elk Point Bend WMA, Ponca SP, Powder Creek WMA; Garfield/Loup Counties — Calamus Reservoir SRA; Greeley/Valley Counties — Davis Creek WMA; Madison County — Oak Valley WMA, Yellowbanks WMA; Nance County — Sunny Hollow WMA; Pierce County — Willow Creek SRA; Platte County — George D. Syas WMA, Wilkinson WMA; Rock County — Fred Thomas WMA; Stanton County — Wood Duck WMA.
Dawes County — Bordeaux Creek WMA, Chadron Creek Ranch WMA, Ponderosa WMA; Morrill County — Arnold Trupp WMA; Scotts Bluff County — Kiowa WMA, Nine Mile Creek WMA; Sioux County — Gilbert-Baker WMA, Peterson WMA