Fire! Prescribed burning is a “primitive tool” used in the modern gamekeeper’s “bag of tricks.” Every year the mediation of hearing the John Deere fire up during the first weekend of planting is a hallowed tradition that never gets old to those of us who live the “gamekeeper lifestyle.” But for some, the proverbial “grand event,” is the lighting of the flame! A prescribed burn.
Early Native Americans took first glance at its benefits and ability to produce positive change with minimum effort throughout the landscape. Its low-labor qualities produced ease of access throughout the terrain, created new, more prolific vegetation growth, and proved to attract more game. Ranch owners also learned to set fire to their pastures to maintain high quality forage for their cattle and assist in clearing areas and keeping the forest from invading their pastures. Successful burns can also reduce fire hazards, improve site preparation, dispose of logging debris, improve access and significantly improve the wildlife production. Burns can be extremely beneficial to wildlife habitat.