Notes from the Field by NLI Stewardship Staff: Tyler Pellegrini, Restoration Ecologist
It’s Tyler again with another ‘Notes from the Field’. One of my favorite times of the year is the spring prescribed burn season. After the snow is gone and our prairies, wetlands, and woodlands dry out enough, we go into “burn mode” when the wind and weather cooperate. When we burn off the previous year’s oak leaf litter and prairie vegetation, we’re also knocking back brush and weeds, speeding up the nutrient cycle, and maintaining the health of our native plants and ecosystems. Fire was a regular occurrence for thousands of years before the Midwest was settled, and our native species have adapted to, and depend on it, to thrive. Safe prescribed burns require a lot of prep work and planning to pull off, but they’re a very rewarding part of the job! Photos from NLI’s Spring 2020 burn season.