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Pinedale Online > News > July 2009 > Prescribed Fire conducted for wildlife

Blaze. Photo by Mark Randall, USFS.
Blaze
Mark Randall, Asst. Fire Management Officer with the Bridger Teton National Forest, wets the perimeter of a prescribed fire in the Wyoming Range west of Daniel recently. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD

Maki Creek burn. Photo by Jill Miller, WGFD.
Maki Creek burn
Flames from a prescribed fire engulf a mixed stand of conifer and aspen in the Maki Creek drainage west of Daniel in October, 2008. Resource managers conducted the burn to promote aspen, a fire-dependent species. Photo by Jill Miller, WGFD

Patroling the perimeter. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD.
Patroling the perimeter
Firefighters wet the perimeter of a prescribed fire in the Wyoming Range west of Daniel recently. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD
Prescribed Fire conducted for wildlife
Maki Creek burn
by Wyoming Game & Fish
July 14, 2009

(Big Piney) Wildlife and Natural Resource managers from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Bridger Teton National Forest and Bureau of Land Management worked together to complete a prescribed fire in the Wyoming Range that will promote aspen and improve habitat for a number of wildlife species. The 2,000 acre burn was conducted in the Maki Creek drainage west of Daniel starting in the fall of 2008 with the final portion being completed June 29-30 of 2009.

"Both the fires conducted last fall and this spring resulted in a nice mosaic pattern of burned and unburned areas that should be great for promoting aspen," said Jill Miller, Pinedale Habitat Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "With the slash piles that had been created a couple years ago, we had the flames necessary to kill conifers and with all the spring moisture this year we should see a great response of young aspen and other plants in the coming years."

This habitat treatment is part of a larger project to promote aspen all along the Wyoming Range front. "We emphasize aspen because so many different wildlife species depend on it, but there is also a great diversity of grasses, forbs and shrubs that come back after a fire like this." says Miller. It is estimated that over 200 species of wildlife utilize aspen habitat. It is also estimated that over half ofthe aspen habitat has been lost across the West, primarily due to fire suppression.

Additional acres are scheduled for treatment in future years as conditions allow. The next prescribed fire is scheduled to take place in the North Cottonwood drainage. Crews are currently cutting trees tocreate slash piles this summer. Once the slash piles dry and the right weather conditions occur the burning can begin, possibly as early as the spring of 2010.

Miller applauded the work of the many firefighters from the Teton Interagency Fire crews and Bureau of Land Management who contributed to make the Maki project a success. In addition to the agencies, funding for the project was provided by the Governorís Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Governorís Big Game License Coalition. "There are always a number of players necessary to pull off a project like this and itís very gratifying when it all comes to fruition, knowing that the wildlife resource is going to benefit for many years to come."



Related Links
  • Wyoming Game & Fish
  • Bridger-Teton National Forest

  • Burning Slash Piles. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD.
    Burning Slash Piles
    Firefighter Todd Pulvermacher lights slash piles as part of a prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat in the Wyoming Range west of Daniel recently. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD

    Prescribed Burn. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD.
    Prescribed Burn
    Firefighters look on as a conifer stand goes up in flames during a prescribed fire June 29, 2009. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD
     
    Pinedale Online > News > July 2009 > Prescribed Fire conducted for wildlife

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