The state Department of Natural Resources will be conducting controlled burns on public lands between now and mid-May, depending on the weather.
Controlled or prescribed burning is an ecological and economical method of limiting exotic and unwanted brush invasions that crowd out native vegetation. Burns stimulate prairie grass growth and improve habitat for upland game and waterfowl, create pockets of open water for waterfowl, improve habitat for upland nesting birds, spurs native vegetative growth favored by songbirds, and help preserve grasslands and native plant species that were sustained by natural fires before intensive European settlement.
The DNR’s schedule for controlled burns includes:
Grant County: Blue River Bluffs State Natural Area, Blue River Sand Barrens State Natural Area and Snow Bottom State Natural Area, Town of Muscoda; Cassville Bluffs State Natural Area and Dewey Heights State Natural Area, Town of Cassville; Gasner Hollow Prairie State Natural Area and Wyalusing State Park, Town of Wyalusing; Lancaster Prairie State Natural Area.
Lafayette County: Belmont Prairie State Natural Area, Town of Belmont; Hardscrabble Prairie State Natural Area, Town of Benton; Ipswich Prairie State Natural Area, Town of Elk Grove; Weir White Oaks State Natural Area; Yellowstone State Park, Town of Fayette.
Iowa County: Avoca Prairie State Natural Area, Town of Potosi; Governor Dodge State Park, Town of Dodgeville; Lower Wisconsin State Riverway; Pecatonica River Woods State Natural Area, Town of Mifflin.
Any burns that do not take place this spring may take place this fall.