MDC offers prescribed fire workshop for landowners in Rolla

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ROLLA, Mo. – Fire, when used in controlled and highly supervised conditions, can be beneficial land management tool.

If you’re interested in learning how to use fire as a land management tool, attend the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) prescribed burn workshop from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 13 at the USDA Service Center in Rolla. The USDA Service Center is located at 1050 Missouri 72 East in the city of Rolla. This free workshop is for landowners interested in learning how to properly and safely conduct prescribed burns on their property to improve wildlife habitat.

Although it may sound counter-intuitive, fire can be one of the best things to happen to a tract of grassland, particularly one where native grasses and forbs are trying to be established. More than half of the biomass of many types of grass plants is underground. On the other hand, only about 25 percent of a tree’s biomass is below ground. This means fire is an excellent tool for getting rid of trees and shrubs in an area. Fire also removes dead plant growth, which allows rainfall and nutrients in the ashes to enter the soil quicker. This clearing process allows sunlight to warm the soil better for sprouting seeds.

The end result of the burning process can lead to better grazing opportunities for livestock and greater plant diversity, which creates better wildlife habitat.

To register for this prescribed fire program, to get more information or to get directions to the location of the workshop, call MDC Private Land Conservationist Luke Anderson at 800-364-8732.