Webinar Archive

Fire, Vegetation, and Birds in Northern Sedge Meadows - Lessons Learned At Seney NWR

Jane Austin (US Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, jaustin@usgs.gov) and Gary Lindsay (US Fish and Wildlife Service, Seney National Wildlife Refuge, gary_lindsay@fws.gov).

December 16, 2010.

Our study of fire, vegetation, and birds at Seney NWR examines the impact of both spring and summer burns on areas that historically had abundant yellow rails. We hypothesized that summer burns would be more effective at setting back shrub cover, and would benefit the bird species of concern through changes in vegetative structure. By linking fire behavior and burn conditions with structural responses of the vegetation, we will develop a better understanding of the often variable results of fire effects in this peatland system, and develop better fire management plans to achieve desired habitat objectives for birds of interest. Lessons have emerged over the course of this collaborative project that may be of interest to this Fire Consortium. We discussed why we started this project, how we approached the study planning and design, final study design and data collection, application of fire prescriptions and lessons learned by researcher and fire manager.