Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - 5

ability," Jones said.
Coupled with spring's usually timely
rains, the land erupts with native plant
growth.
Sometimes herbicides are sprayed as
a pre-treatment on controlled-burn sites
to ensure invasive plants are held back
during this resurgence.
Weeks after a burn, when young wildlife starts to explore its natal surroundings,
the now-established vegetation provides
cover, succulent food and often tasty
insects.
Whitetails, elk, wild turkeys and songbirds are drawn to controlled-burn sites as
soon as they go cold, Jones noted.
Bears - and other blueberry aficionados - typically benefit in the growing
season following a fire.
The shrub is a fire-adapted plant that
draws immediate benefit from a controlled burn, Jones emphasized.
Recent fieldwork by The Nature Conservancy on moths' use of burned and
unburned habitats also is telling.
"The areas that had been restored
through controlled burning had greater
overall moth diversity, including several
state-listed species, compared to untreated
areas," Jones said. "In places where we've
burned to improve meadow habitat, resprouting milkweed has hosted numerous
monarch caterpillars."
Although the problems monarch butterflies face are varied, one is the loss of
milkweed - which is monarch breeding
habitat - to herbicides in agricultural
areas. This increases the importance of

milkweed in grasslands.
So the periodic use of fire on grasslands is essential to stave off woody
encroachment and invasive plants, and
ultimately help everything from monarchs
to bobolinks.

Sound Strategies
In a controlled burn, trained fire managers pick a day with low winds, a safe
wind direction, moderate humidity and
higher fuel moisture to ensure public
safety and more proficiently manage the
burn, Jones explained. They also coordinate with local first-responders and advise
news media.

JUNE 2017

Al Keith

Monarch caterpillars, like the one at right,
have benefited from controlled burns that
increase milkweed in meadows. Meanwhile,
the red-headed woodpecker on the opposite
page is shown feeding her second brood in a
sassafras cavity in the middle of a controlled
burn area on State Game Lands 210.
5



Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - 21
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Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2017 - Cover4
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