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Prescribed burns set for WMAs, state park areas

Prescribed burns are taking place this spring on some Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife management areas, state parks and state recreation areas where weather conditions allow.

Burning allows habitat managers to positively impact more acres. Burns will be conducted this spring, and those not completed will be attempted this summer or fall as weather conditions allow.

Burned acres often become more attractive to wildlife species, and for some species, the 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.

Historically, wildlife habitats were shaped by wildfires that occurred throughout the year. Burns 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.

Used in conjunction with grazing, prescribed burning also can set back smooth brome and Kentucky bluegrass, increase diversity in grasslands and improve habitat for wildlife.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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