|Firefighters battle Eastern Redcedar in Oklahoma. Source: Ok.gov|
More than 100 people met last week in Kearney, Nebraska to discuss the benefits of prescribed fire on landscapes there. The state has an ongoing problem with the invasive, highly flammable Eastern Redcedar that has encroached on 50-60% of the rangelands there. Historically, fires kept the cedar at bay but like much of the wildland fire issues across the West today, successful suppression efforts have led to the excessive build up of fuels in unwanted areas, threatening homes, rangelands, the water table and habitat.
Landowners in Nebraska (and all the Great Plains states) are taking the challenge head on - using fire as a tool to control the cedar tree encroachment, restore the landscape and its habitat and help with grazing management. See more about the effort in Nebraska here and more about the invasive Eastern Red Cedar here.