This photo is from the big prairie burn in 2003. Over the years, I’ve been able to burn the Prairie as necessary to keep it in shape…promote prairie grasses, kill trees and weeds. It would take me 2 or 3 hours alone with my weed burner and the right wind to knock down the whole 30 acres. It’s safe since it’s bordered by lake, plowed field and road.
Then, 2 years ago, the US Fish and Wildlife Service decided it was no longer safe for us to burn it. Had to get a plan done by them, and they had to burn it. Now, they have millions of acres under management…and not unlimited manpower. And to burn this field requires a south or southwest wind….you don’t just schedule a crew for Thursday and expect the wind to go along.
But in their wisdom, they never got it burned last year. Now we’re having a serious problem with trees and prickly ash undergrowth wrecking about half the restoration. So instead of spring which is the best time to burn, they decide on fall…today to be exact. Proper wind, and they show up with 5 guys, a Bobcat, a cross country water vehicle, a 4-wheeler and this ‘swamp buggy’…oh yeah, 2 trucks and an SUV.
So they work from 10 til 1 and get about 2 acres torched. Lunch break. Then they got to it. This is better. And they torched the big slash pile that has accumulated over the last few years. So the cats won’t have anywhere to hunt for chipmunks and rabbits anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate the help…but 5 guys and all that equipment?