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Prescribed burn planned at national monument

PIPESTONE -- Pipestone National Monument has scheduled a prescribed burn during the period of April 27 to May 20. When appropriate wind, temperature, and humidity conditions exist between these dates, approximately 75 to 100 acres of the tallgras...

PIPESTONE - Pipestone National Monument has scheduled a prescribed burn during the period of April 27 to May 20. When appropriate wind, temperature, and humidity conditions exist between these dates, approximately 75 to 100 acres of the tallgrass prairie will be burned.
Historically, the 18 million acres of native tallgrass prairie that once covered the central plains experienced repeated lightning caused fires. This reduced the buildup of accumulated organic plant material, releasing trapped essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, and trace minerals. This, in turn, ensured native prairie would flourish by suppressing the growth of woody tree and shrub species, and decreasing plant competition from invading exotic species.
Less than 1 percent of the original tallgrass prairie in Minnesota remains. This loss has greatly changed the probability of lightning ignited fires. Therefore, to mimic the benefits that fire produces for a healthy prairie, controlled burns are conducted. The monument has conducted controlled burns of the tallgrass prairie since 1971. Because of management efforts such as the use of prescribed fire, the hand removal of exotic vegetation and the broadcast of native prairie seed, long-term monitoring data indicates a decrease in non-native exotic vegetation, along with an increase in native tallgrass prairie at the Monument.
For more information on the prescribed fire program, call 507 (825) 5464.

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