The Lek:4:4
Newsletter of the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange
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Vegetation Responses to Prescribed Burning of Grazed Shortgrass Steppe

Read our research brief to learn how prescribed fire affected plants and soil nutrients in the shortgrass steppe.

Prescribed Burn Entry Form

The Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association has developed an online data portal available to anyone using prescribed fire in OK, TX, NE, KS, ND, SD, MT, MN, MO, CO, WY, IL, and IA. Information on the number of burns conducted, acres burned, safety records, and more can improve how funding, training, and resources for burning are allocated in the Great Plains region. The data are confidential–no names or exact locations are specified in the forms.
Prescribed Burn Entry Form


Fire, Harvester Ants, and Horned Lizards

A recent study from the Verble Fire Ecology Lab examined how prescribed burning influenced the home range size of Texas horned lizards in central Texas. The study also examined how fires and drought influenced the nutritional quality, abundance and density of the primary prey item of the lizard. Fires changed the vegetation of the area in a predictable way. Fires impacted horned lizard survival, but differentially between sexes. Finally, fires changed the nutritional quality of the ants, but not in the way you might think. These data will help guide future habitat management and restoration efforts.

Learn about the study by joining the webinar September 8, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. CST. No advance registration required.
WHAT: Patch Burn Grazing Annual Meeting

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

WHERE: Pratt, KS

Download the Patch Burn Grazing Meeting Flyer for more information.

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
The GPE is 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: 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 at 2:30-3:30 p.m. (CST)
No registration required. LINK

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

WHAT: Juniper Pollen Webinar; presented by Estelle Levetin
WHEN: December 8, 2015 at 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

Get to know the GP Fire Community

Dr. Charles "Butch" Taylor, Jr.


 Charles "Butch" Taylor, Jr. headshot.
Last quarter, Robin Verble nominated Butch Taylor of Texas AgriLife's Sonora Research Station for our interview series.  Read about the grassland fire issues important to Butch and get some sage advice!
Read the Interview

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:


Hovick, T. J., R. D. Elmore, S. D. Fuhlendorf, and D. K. Dahlgren. 2015. Weather constrains the influence of fire and grazing on nesting greater prairie-chickens. Rangeland Ecology and Management 68:186-193.

Adult greater prairie-chicken survival was observed in areas that had not recently been burned or grazed. The birds avoided nesting in areas with a great amount of tree cover, suggesting that they do require some disturbance to reduce woody vegetation for nesting cover. Local weather was the most influential on nest survival.

Read Fire Science Summaries


'What's your fire angle?'

By Sherry Leis, Great Plains Fire Science Coordinator
What motivates you to work in fire?  How in the world did you come to work with fire, study fire, or otherwise be mesmerized by it?  Do you like fire because of the adrenaline factor, the danger? Do you work in fire because you love grasslands and fire is just part of it? Do you like fire because it reminds you of those camping trips as a kid where you ate s’mores and roasted hot dogs over the fire?  Do you like fire because [insert your favorite species here] needs it to survive?  Do you like fire because others fear it? Do you work in fire because if we don’t learn to live with it, wildfire could devastate your favorite places? Do you work in fire because you want to protect the people and places you love? Read on...
Read the Post

New shiny website on the horizon

We appreciate those of you that have discovered the wealth of resources packed into our website.  We realized that we may not have the most user friendly platform and have been working on transitioning our website to Squarespace.  As we do so, there are bound to be errors and ommissions and we appreciate your help identifying those as you come across them.  The URL will remain the same.  We have not yet set the release date, but will send an announcement to let you know that the time has arrived.
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