Pheasants Forever will be hosting a basic prescribed fire workshop at the North Platte Natural Resource District Office in Scottsbluff on Tuesday, January 21st at 9:00 a.m. Workshop speakers familiar with fire will discuss how it can be used to benefit the land manager’s objectives and give a step-by-step breakdown of how to safely plan a prescribed fire.
Fire has shaped Nebraska’s landscape for thousands of years, however during the 20th century we became very proficient in its suppression and prevention. According to Pheasants Forever 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 regard to safely implementing the practice.” Pheasants Forever along with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission responded to this interest by setting up workshops across the state to help educate and train participants about the benefits and implementation of prescribed burning. “We put together a day long classroom training covering the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed fire for people interested in its use.” Teeter added.
The basic workshops run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. The workshops cover a variety of 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, refreshments, and a noon meal. Attendees are asked to please pre-register to reserve a meal. Please contact Ashley at 308-850-8395, Mike at 308-765-9384 or visit www.NebraskaPF.com to register.
Pheasants Forever works closely with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Environmental Trust and other conservation partners to help Nebraskans plan prescribed fires. Since 2008, they have hosted 140 workshops reaching 3,500 attendees.