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

Learn to use prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat and forage, control red cedars

    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.
    The workshop in Imperial will cover how to use prescribed fire as an option for mid-contract management in your CRP fields. Prescribed fire is one of the approved practices that can be effectively used in CRP fields.  
    Also covered during the workshop will be a variety of other topics such as firebreak preparation, equipment needs, burn plans and regulations, ignition techniques, weather and fire behavior.
     A $10 registration fee covers all training and training materials and a light meal.
    Attendees are asked to please pre-register to reserve a meal by contacting Ashley at 308-850-8395 or visit www.NebraskaPF.com to register.  
    Additional questions can be directed to Farm Bill Biologist Heather Francis at the Imperial Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field office, 308-882-4263, ext. 3.
     Pheasants Forever works with NGPC, the NRCS, the Nebraska Environmental Trust and other conservation partners to help Nebraskans plan prescribed fires.
    Since 2008, they have hosted 118 workshops with a total of 2,791 attendees.

The Imperial Republican

308-882-4453 (Phone)

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622 Broadway St

PO Box 727

Imperial, NE 69033