Sparking a new approach to North Dakota rangeland management
Photo: Joshua Lefers/Audubon Dakota
IN THE FIELD
North Dakota Prescribed Fire Cooperative (NDPFC) provides private landowners and public land managers access to prescribed fire management to increase forage and habitat productivity, while also providing an opportunity for prescribed fire training to landowners and rural fire departments.
Technical assistance and burn planning is available through Audubon Dakota and partners. Financial assistance may be available to producers to hire contractors to complete prescribed fires. Landowners will be responsible for creating firebreaks if financial assistance is awarded.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Enrolled landowners, natural resource professionals, and rural fire departments can participate in prescribed fire education workshops. By doing so, participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform prescribed burns safely and effectively.
Education topics include:
ON- THE- GROUND
North Dakota’s grasslands are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. Declines in prairies have led to equally extreme reductions in population numbers for wildlife. Historically, fires were a common event in prairies, often recurring every couple of years in the wetter tallgrass prairies to every 20-30 years in the drier shortgrass prairies. Prescribed fire supports improved habitat for grassland birds and other wildlife.
The NDPFC strives to facilitate a positive North Dakota landowner awareness of prescribed fire as a management tool. Prescribed fires can be used to manage fuel loads, helping to prevent wildfires. More importantly, prescribed fires can be a safe and effective method to increase grassland productivity for wildlife and livestock alike. The coop works to develop the tools, knowledge, and connections necessary for landowners to establish burn associations. In the long run, a self-sustaining landowner prescribed fire program will benefit North Dakota's grasslands the most.
If you have questions about prescribed fired or would like to sign up to receive prescribed fire email updates, please contact Range Ecologist, Juli Bosmoe, at email@example.com.