Crow’s Nest: Catching up with (prescribed) fire

April 7, 2015

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager


After four years without prescribed fire at Crow’s Nest Preserve, we had a great day of controlled burns here yesterday. For the last several years we’ve taken our turn low on the list for prescribed burns—there are an extremely limited number of days where the weather meets our prescription—and Natural Lands has plant communities on several of our our preserves where prescribed fire is the best management.

We burned half of the meadow below the parking lot—a great place to watch how plants respond to fire, and a savannah at the northern end of the preserve. Prescribed fire closely replicates a natural process and creates the conditions for the desired plants to thrive.

I’m very impressed with and grateful for the work of my colleagues on the burn crew. Over the weekend we realized that with rain coming the rest of the week this would likely be the first and last possible day for prescribed fire at Crow’s Nest this year: the ground is finally dry now, but things will green up fast, and it is already late in the burn “window.” When they woke up Monday morning my colleagues did know if or where they’d be doing prescribed fire that day, but a 6:30 am email summoned them. New members of the team are working out great and the team communicates well.