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Iowa DNR planning annual spring prescribed burns in the Iowa Great Lakes region

  • 2/16/2024 10:21:00 AM
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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be conducting prescribed burns within selected wildlife complexes in Dickinson, O’Brien, Lyon and Sioux counties between March 1 and May 20 to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, and maintain native plant communities.

Ground nesting birds such as pheasants, mallards, teal, bobolinks, dickcissels and many others benefit from the habitat improved with periodic prescribed fire for nesting and brood rearing. Burning sets back invading brush, removes the accumulated thatch and reinvigorates native plants by simulating what occurred naturally for centuries.

Areas are typically burned every 1-5 years, if possible, and vary in size from a few acres to several hundred acres. Burns are conducted on days that meet the objectives and weather guidelines defined in the prescribed burn plan. Any prescribed burns that are not able to be completed this spring may be considered for the burn schedule next fall.

Possible wildlife management areas (WMA) or Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) scheduled for prescribed burns in Dickinson County include Spring Run, Cayler Prairie, Center Lake, Christopherson Slough, Diamond Lake, Dugout Creek, Garlock Slough, Hales Slough, Jemmerson Slough and Kettleson Hogsback, Welch Lake, and West Okoboji complexes.

Scheduled areas in O’Brien County are within the Waterman Prairie wildlife complex, north of Hwy. 10, 5 miles west of Peterson and 4 miles east and south of Sutherland. In Lyon and Sioux counties, areas along the Big Sioux River complex may also see some prescribed fire.

For questions or concerns about prescribed burns, contact Chris La Rue, wildlife management biologist or the Great Lakes Wildlife Unit, at 712-330-4543 or 712-336-1485.

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