Crow’s Nest: 2018 Prescribed Fire
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.
On Friday Natural Lands staff and volunteers were able to complete prescribed fires in two small meadows at Crow’s Nest: The lower parking lot meadow and the “savannah”—a meadow with sparse tree cover—at the north end of the preserve.
Above, you see the classic chevron shape that is common in prescribed fires as two flanks of the fire draw together.
The meadow below the parking lot is our most visible site, and you can watch it green up quickly this spring.
The savannah is a bit more difficult a site to manage; we burn around the trees. Below, doing mop-up: making sure that the fire is completely out before we leave.
Each of these meadows gets burned about every five years. Prescribed fire closely replicates a natural process and is a good alternative to mowing, which is what we do in the intervening years. Without some intervention these sites would revert to (perhaps weedy) woods; managed as meadows they add a diversity of habitats to the preserve and create ideal conditions for many wildflowers and native grasses.