Pheasants Forever, Game and Parks planning prescribed burn workshop in Imperial

Pheasants Forever and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) will be hosting a prescribed fire workshop at the Mid-Plains Community College in Imperial on Thursday, Jan. 18.
    The evening workshop will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    Workshop speakers familiar with fire will discuss how it can be used to benefit the land manager’s objectives and will explain how to utilize the prescribed burning option for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) mid-contract management requirements.
     Fire has shaped Nebraska’s landscape for thousands of years, however during the 20th century people became very proficient in its suppression and prevention.  
    According to Pheasants Forever Prescribed Fire Coordinating Biologist Brian Teeter, this lack of fire has resulted in negative consequences in the health and diversity of our prairies and forests which are critical to our wildlife and agricultural economy.
    “You don’t have to travel very far to see that the eastern red cedar is rapidly expanding and is negatively affecting our grazing lands, but there are also less obvious benefits that range from improving wildlife habitat to increasing forage quality,” Teeter noted.
     In recent years, however, the state has seen an increase in the use of prescribed fire on private lands, something Teeter is excited to see.
    “We strongly believe that returning fire to our landscape is imperative and we have recognized the need for proper training and education in regards to safely implementing the practice,” he said.
    Responding to that interest, the two groups began setting up workshops across the state to help educate and train participants about the benefits and implementation of prescribed burning.
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