The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be conducting prescribed burns this spring on wildlife areas managed by the Iowa DNR’s Iowa River Wildlife Unit, and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Cedar, Linn, Johnson, Benton, Iowa, Tama, and Mahaska counties.
Areas scheduled for burns are Iowa River Corridor in Tama, Benton and Iowa County; Otter Creek Marsh, Kunch, Spring Grove, Union Grove, Oxbow Bottoms in Tama County; Hawthorn Lake in Mahaska County; Hawkeye Wildlife Unit Complex, Red Bird Farms in Johnson County; Chain O Lakes Complex in Linn County; Dungeon Lake Complex in Benton County; and Mink Run in Cedar County.
Prescribed burns are used to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, restore and maintain native plant communities and reduce wildfire potential and vary in size from a few acres to several hundred acres. Areas are typically burned every one to five years.
Ground nesting birds such as pheasants, bobwhite quail, mallards, bobolinks, dickscissels and others benefit from habitat improved with periodic prescribed fire. Prescribed burns typically begin mid to late morning and are completed by late afternoon or early evening between late March and early May. Burns will be conducted on a day that meets the objectives and weather conditions defined in the burn plan.
Contact wildlife biologist Steven Woodruff, at 319-330-7013, with any questions or concerns.