The Lek:4:1
Newsletter of the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange
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A review of ecological consequences of shifting the timing of burning tallgrass prairie.

Questions about season of fire top our most asked list in the region.  This brief may help to provide more background on the topic.  Read our research summary to see what researchers at Konza found.



Cross timbers of Oklahoma with a canopy fire.
WHAT:  OK Natural Resources Conference
WHEN: February11-13, 2015
WHERE: Tulsa, OK
Sherry will be there with lots of our products.  Come here Wendy Fulks talk about the Fire Adapted Communities program.
 More Info Here
Pale purple coneflower.  Image by Dwayne Elmore.
WHAT: Ethnobotanical use of fire
WHEN: April TBD, 2015
WHERE: Kansas Flint Hills
Kelly Kindscer will share with us information he recently learned while on sabbatical.


More upcoming events:

WHAT: Using Fire to Improve Deer Habitat in the Southern Great Plains Webinar by Sandra Rideout-Hanzak
WHEN: February 17, 2015 @2-3pm
WHERE: online: LINK

WHAT: 6th National Conference on Grazing Lands
WHEN: December 13-16, 2015
WHERE: Grapevine, TX

WHAT: Association for Fire Ecology Congress, Look for a field trip opportunity from the GPE
WHEN: November 16-20, 2015
WHERE: San Antonio, TX
WHAT: Training Exchange for Volunteer Fire Department staff. This training exchange will include informational sessions and hands-on training, with a focus on wildland ignitions for volunteer fire department staff that are interested in learning more about wildland fire operations.
WHEN: March 20-22, 2015 Apply by February 2 
WHERE: Niobrara Valley Preserve (Johnstown, NE)


Get to know the GP fire community

Our last interviewee nominated Al Steuter for this quarter's column.  Click here for the whole story. 
Here's an excerpt :
Bob Hamilton [TNC Tallgrass Prairie Preserve fame] - also newly graduated with an MS from Emporia State University - had been hired as the summer intern by our boss Mark Heitlinger who was working out of the Minnesota Field office of TNC.  During the next years the three of us conspired:  first, to replace cattle lease grazing with TNC owned bison herds on their large grassland preserves (some not yet acquired); second, to initiate landscape scale recreations of the Great Plains Fire-Bison Interaction that had been described in general terms by early naturalists and ecologists; and third, to encourage and support both basic and applied research on these TNC preserves to extend the state-of-the-art of range management. 

A particularly productive brain-storming session occurred overlooking the South Unit of the Cross Ranch Preserve, ND.  I'm sure Bob and Mark remember that exciting day with the same fondness as I do.



'Grassland management is like owning a home'

By Sherry Leis, Great Plains Fire Science Coordinator

Homeowners usually choose a home that aligns with their personal criteria and needs.  Although houses come in all shapes and sizes–fixer-uppers, lemons, or brand new and ultramodern–they all have one thing in common: they need maintenance and attention throughout the year.

Summer requires yard and A/C work, while winter requires heating, snow and ice removal, and weather proofing. In addition, all homeowners have encountered miscellaneous incidents such as pipe breaks, appliance failures, storm damage, pest infestations, and the inevitable operator errors that lead to stain removals, clogged drains, and the like.

Managing a grassland isn’t so different from owning a home.

See if you agree...

Science Round-Up

In an effort to bring you more fire science that is important to the Great Plains, we are trying out a science roundup.  Each installment will include brief summaries of research that we've learned about.  Feel free to send us citations to include in our next installment.  You can access the summaries here

Here's a sample: 

Radke, Nikki J., D. B. Western, G. Perry, and S. Rideout-Hanzak. 2008. Short-term effects of prescribed fire on lizards in mesquite-Ashe juniper vegetation in central Texas. Applied Herpetology 5:281-292.Low intensity prescribed burns had no immediate effects on lizard densities, likely due to their habitat and prey densities remaining unaffected. Homoptera had reduced numbers post-burn.
READ THE Round-up


With burn season approaching, taking a pro-active approach to communicating about fire and smoke issues that affect the general public. Our Preserving the Tallgrass Prairie Video (available on YouTube) was formatted to fit a 30 minute PBS slot.  If you'd like to use this video to inform the public about prescribed burning in your area, the video is available in formats compatible with TV station standards.  The video has been shown 5 times on public TV stations in Kansas after simply asking each station manager if they would show it.  If a TV station you contact is willing to show the video and needs a specific format, please contact Carol Blocksome 785.532.0416,   The video can be found online here

Calling all mastersThe Great Plains Fire Science Exchange has begun a new video series called "Masters of Fire" to capture some of the knowledge and experience of long-time fire researchers.  Help us identify the masters in the region (near/past retirement age and whose wealth of knowledge about prescribed burning in the GP should be recorded for future generations) please contact Carol with suggestions

Carol Blocksome (785.532.0416)

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