The Lek 4:5
Newsletter of the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange
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Where people move, woody plants follow

Read our summary of this ground-breaking research describing trends in woody plant encroachment that relate to human populations.  

New Research on Safety Zones

In this video, Bret Butler of the Missoula Fire Lab discusses his research on adjusting safety zones for variations in wind and slope.


A Survey of Prescribed Burn Associations in the Great Plains

This recent survey summarizes the activity, needs, and safety records of Prescribed Burn Associations (PBAs) in the Great Plains. Read the results here: PBAs in the Great Plains.

Current PBAs in the Great Plains



WHAT: Chadron Forestry Field Day

August 20, 2015

WHERE: Chadron State Park, NE

More information
WHAT: Patch Burn Grazing Annual Meeting

August 27-28, 2015 (optional events will be held August 26 and 29)

WHERE: Pratt, KS

Meeting details and registration.

The meeting will include presentations, a tour of the Hashknife Ranch, an optional tour of the Z-bar Ranch, and a tandem equipment expo. This meeting is a good fit for producers, grassland ecologists, researchers, graduate students, fire ecologists, and the general public interested in the interactions of fire and grazing with plants, wildlife, soils, and more. 

WHAT:  Association for Fire Ecology Congress, field trip 
WHEN: November 16-20, 2015
WHERE: San Antonio, TX
We are sponsoring Field Trip #2. This will be a great event so sign up early!
Learn More

More upcoming events:

WHAT: Prairie Grouse Technical Council Meeting
WHEN: September 22-24, 2015 
WHERE: Nevada, MO

WHAT: Microrhyze and Fire Webinar; presented by Alice Tipton
WHEN: October 6, 2015; 12-1 pm (CST)
No registration required. LINK

WHAT: Fall Burning Field Day
WHEN: October 13, 2015
WHERE: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Strong City, KS
More details soon.

WHAT: Sericea lespedeza and Fire Webinar; presented by KC Olson
WHEN: December 1, 2015; 2:30-3:30 p.m. (CST)
No registration required. LINK

WHAT: Juniper Pollen Webinar; presented by Estelle Levetin
WHEN: December 8, 2015; 2:30-3:30 pm (CST) 
No registration required. LINK

WHAT: 6th National Conference on Grazing Lands
WHEN: December 13-16, 2015
WHERE: Grapevine, TX
The GPFSE will host a symposium on Prescribed Burn Associations at this meeting.  Don't miss it! LINK

Fire Science Roundup

We've summarized a suite of regionally applicable fire science for you. We encourage you to send us citations or papers to include in our next Roundup.  Here's an example summary:


Roberts, A. J., C. W. Boal, D. B. Wester, S. Rideout-Hanzak, and H. A. Whitlaw. 2012. Grassland bird community response to large wildfires. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124:24-30.

Species-specific shifts, associated with life-history traits and vegetation preferences, were observed in many of the avian communities following wildfire. Species that prefer sparse vegetation on short-grass sites benefited from fires, whereas species preferring more dense vegetation were negatively impacted. Avian communities appeared to return to pre-burn levels within three years.

Read Fire Science Summaries

Update your Bookmarks 

By Sherry Leis, Great Plains Fire Science Coordinator
We recently notified you of our shift to a new website platform.  While we are still working out some bugs, we hope that the new platform is better serving your needs.  We'd like to hear what's working and what's not.  We are proud of some new content built for the site, including an online map of regional prescribed burn associations, and our first virtual fire ecology tour.

Tip for searching the website: use no more than two keywords to search (additional keywords may inhibit results), and make sure to spell all words correctly. 

We have a full schedule of meetings and webinars this fall.  We look forward to seeing many of you in person as we provide field tours and presentations in Pratt KS, San Antonio TX, Corpus Christi TX, Diamond MO, Nevada MO, and more.
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