Learn the benefits of a Prescribed Burn Association with MDC and partners May 12 in Steelville

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WEST PLAINS, Mo. — The responsible use of fire can benefit both people and the land, especially when community members combine resources through a Prescribed Burn Association (PBA).

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), along with Missouri Prescribed Fire Council and Quail Forever, invite landowners and managers in Crawford, Dent, Phelps, and surrounding counties to a PBA informational gathering. The meeting, to help gauge local interest in forming a PBA, will take place Friday, May 12 from 6:30 — 8 p.m. at the Meramec Music Theatre, 26 Missouri Highway 8 in Steelville. Mark Howell of the Missouri Prescribed Fire Council will facilitate the meeting.

It takes cooperation to make conservation happen. A PBA is a group of landowners and other community members who come together to conduct prescribed burns effectively and safely. Members pool their knowledge, experience, equipment, and peoplepower to help others in their association conduct prescribed burns.

Strategic application of fire is a very cost-effective land management tool, especially if multiple property owners come together. This meeting will help local landowners network and find others interested in organizing a PBA. Participants will discover how a PBA can leverage the resources and knowledge of all its members and enable them to get hands-on experience using prescribed fire. Attendees will learn all the functions and benefits of a PBA, how to form one, and how to participate. 

The sharing of training, labor, and equipment through an association can help property owners achieve their land management goals, such as more productive deer, quail, and turkey habitat. Burns can help control invasive species and redcedar encroachment on glades. 

Prescribed burns will also remove ground fuel, which lessens the chance and intensity of wildfire. They help restore native plant communities, thin the understory, enhance wildlife habitat, improve forage for livestock and deer, and regenerate desirable tree species, like shortleaf pine. 

The PBA informational meeting is free and includes snacks and drinks. Advanced registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4AG. For more information, contact Quail Forever Prescribed Fire Coordinating Biologist Wes Buchheit at wbuchheit@quailforever.org.

To learn more about prescribed fire, visit moprescribedfire.org.

This event is made possible thanks to the cooperation of MDC, the Missouri Prescribed Fire Council, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, The National Wild Turkey Federation, and the National Deer Association.