Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 12

Widespread wildfires that followed the deforestation of Pennsylvania in the 1800s, gave fire a bad name and resulted in over-suppression of forest fires. In recent years, wildlife biologists, foresters and land managers concerned about the health of fireadapted ecosystems have placed renewed emphasis on the positive roles of fire. By definition, prescribed fire is the planned and controlled application of fire to accomplish specific land management goals. It is used only when weather and habitat conditions are appropriate. Prescribed fire is implemented by trained personnel, following site-specific burn plans, with specific fuel reduction and habitat objectives. Goals often include: invasive species control, forest regeneration, barrens restoration, grassland rejuvenation, education and training, and public safety Fire affects wildlife by changing the habitat. There can be both immediate and long-term effects on habitat. One of the oldest uses of fire has been on native grasslands to reduce the amount of woody vegetation and increase the nutrients available to the grass plants, which improves habitat for grassland dependant wildlife such as bobwhite quail, meadowlarks and several sparrow species. Oak regeneration is improved by reducing competing vegetation, with the long-term result of increased acorn production to benefit deer, bear, turkey and a host of other woodland bird and mammal species. Special habitats such as shale, serpentine, scrub oak and pitch pine barrens, and many wetlands also benefit from prescribed fire. Appalachian cottontail, woodcock and golden-winged warblers are just a few of the many species that benefit from the management of these special habitats.
12

Planning and conducting a prescribed fire can take months. After it is decided that a particular site could benefit from prescribed fire, a site specific burn plan is developed. The burn plan details the area to be burned, the goals of the burn, under what conditions the burn may be conducted, what resources are needed to manage the burn, and who must be contacted before the burn. Then the plan is reviewed and approved. After a burn plan has been developed and approved, the person managing the fire must gather the needed personnel and equipment. The Game Commission may share resources with other agencies and organizations that also have prescribed fire experience. Because specific weather requirements regarding wind, humidity and temperature must be met, the manager often must wait for the right weather conditions. When the weather cooperates and all resources are in place, trained personnel conduct the prescribed fire in accordance with the burn plan. After the prescribed fire is completed the site is evaluated to determine the success of the project. One interesting side benefit that the Game Commission is evaluating is the short term reduction of tick numbers, an important aspect for those who hunt with dogs in the early fall, or call turkeys in the spring. From 2006 to 2009 more than 2,400 acres of State Game Lands were treated with prescribed fire. With more than 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands, there is certainly more habitat that could benefit from the use of prescribed fire. This past summer, a Prescribed Fire Law was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor to allow for the increased use of prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat. The next time you are on State Game Lands and see a burned area — that may be in the plan. The Game Commission uses fire to meet wildlife habitat management goals and may increase the use of prescribed fire in the future for the benefit of wildlife and fire-adapted ecosystems.
GAME NEWS



Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
Groundhog Hunting
Worth the Wait
Fire For Wildlife
Integrity
No Better Investment
Bobcat Charlie
Mentored Youth Hunting
A Long Time Forgotten
The First Hunt
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Groundhog Hunting
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Worth the Wait
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Fire For Wildlife
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Integrity
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - No Better Investment
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Bobcat Charlie
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Mentored Youth Hunting
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - A Long Time Forgotten
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - The First Hunt
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Cover4
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