Carter, Dan, and I all recently became certified prescribed burn managers through Virginia Dept. of Forestry. For anyone interested in learning more about fire as a management tool we highly recommend the DOF course. While we had all spent lots of time around property where prescribed burning was used regularly it was a great opportunity to go deeper into the science, history, and methodology of burning.
Virginia is a fire adapted region dating back at least 10,000 years when the Native Americans burned regularly as a way to enhance wildlife habitat and to keep land open around settlements. Thousands of years of burning resulted in many of our native plants and ecosystems becoming dependent on fire – conversely, burning does a great job of controlling invasive species. Unfortunately fire is underutilized these days, and as a result often comes under attack from people who don’t understand the history and importance of it. Just ask yourself, when was the last time you walked through a vibrant pine savanna in Virginia?
While we don’t recommend anyone go outside and just start burning, we urge landowners looking to improve wildlife habitat and ecosystem management on their property to learn more about prescribed fire. Follow our blog for more information on the benefits of burning and what’s involved in the process. We’ll also be updating regularly as we become more involved on specific projects so check back regularly. We’ll be posting information on specific burns as well as regular follow-ups documenting the effects and benefits.