The Lek:4:2
Newsletter of the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange
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Fire in the Northern Great Plains

Includes information on the effect of fire on vegetation and animals, with a focus on seasons of burn, invasive species, and specific effects on various classes of animals. View the synthesis here: Fire in the Northern Great Plains.


Recordings from our winter webinar series.

Training Exchanges from the Ground Up

Explains the strategy behind training exchanges. Also describes in detail how to create burn units across multiple landownerships in the Great Plains.
Training Exchanges Webinar

Using Fire to Improve Deer Habitat in the Southern Great Plains

Discusses use of prescribed fire to achieve optimal browse levels, recommendations for timing and firing techniques, and pros and cons of using fire to manage deer habitat.
Fire and Deer Habitat Webinar

Prairie-Chickens and Fire

How does fire, or the absence of fire, affect the greater and lesser prairie-chicken? Emphasis on management implications for grassland managers.
Prairie-Chickens and Fire Webinar


WHAT: Black Hills Area Botany & Ecology Workshop
WHEN: March 12, 2015
WHERE: Rapid City, SD

WHAT: Missouri Botanical Symposium
WHEN: March 26, 2015
WHERE: Rolla, MO

WHAT: Patch Burn Grazing meeting
WHEN: August 26-27, 2015
WHERE: Pratt, KS
DETAILS: Will include a tour of Hashknife Ranch, as well as a training session (Preparing for Wildfire) and a field trip to Z Bar Ranch. Watch our blog for more information.

WHAT: IAWF Conference
WHEN: April 20-24, 2015
WHERE: Boise, ID
WHAT: Remote Sensing for Wildfire Applications (webinar series)
WHEN: Every Tuesday for five weeks (March 31-April 28, 2015)

WHAT: Ethonobotany field day with Kelly Kindscher
WHENMay 15, 10am-noon.
Kelly Kindscher will lead an ethnobotany walk (explaining the traditional Native American uses of native plants for food and medicine).  He will also relate these plants to management of the prairie and the use of fire.  
Where:  We will visit the Kansas University Biological Station research garden and prairie. Meet us at the Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden in Lawrence, KS. Map.  We will later carpool to the Rockefeller Native Prairie.

Registration is required.  To register: email by April 15th.

Get to Know Rob Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell works with the Agriculture Research Service in Nebraska. Enjoy our interview with him! Here's a snippet:

  • Please tell us about how you chose grasslands and rangeland topics to study.

I grew up hunting and fishing in the Loess Hills of central Nebraska and was very interested in the hands-on side of wildlife and fisheries. In college, I gained a much better appreciation for the importance of managing habitat. I dropped out of college during my junior year to work and save money to get married. To put my wife through graduate school, I managed a restaurant. I returned to college with a more clear direction for what I wanted to study. I saw many of my wildlife friends getting jobs where they were managing people. I had done that in the restaurant business, so I decided I wanted to manage the natural resources as well as stay involved in agriculture. Grassland ecology and management was the clear choice for me... 
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'Barriers to prescribed fire'

By Sherry Leis, Great Plains Fire Science Coordinator

Although many people agree that prescribed fire serves an important role in the Great Plains there are fewer fires than most ecologists think there should be. They base that diagnosis on a variety of factors relating to the health and status and function of ecosystems and as well as potential wildfire risks.

There are many barriers to using fire, but there are many people working to alleviate those barriers. There are extension and non-governmental organizations providing a variety of training, planning, and operational support in the region. The GPE has heard from burn associations around the region that liability and insurance issues are a key barrier to prescribed fire. Read on.

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