UWA plans prescribed fire for Prairie Restoration Area

LIVINGSTON — On Jan. 29 and 30, portions of the UWA Prairie Restoration area near the Lake LU Nature Trails will be burned as part of an ongoing management strategy. Campus visitors should expect to see plumes of smoke both Thursday and Friday between noon and 5 p.m.

If you should see smoke, please be aware that UWA Police, the Livingston Fire and Police departments and the Alabama Forestry Commission have been notified of the burn plan and are standing by in case assistance is needed.

Prescribed fire is the controlled application of fire to naturally occurring vegetative fuels for ecological, agricultural and wildlife management purposes. This only occurs once appropriate precautionary measures are taken, and only under specific environmental conditions. In each case, prescribed fires are confined to a designated area, and accomplish planned habitat management objectives.

For Blackland Prairies, prescribed fire is an important tool in keeping native areas free of exotic species and prevents the encroachment of the surrounding trees and other woody vegetation within the prairie. Furthermore, burning fosters growth and promotes seed germination in many native prairie plants. In turn, these plants support various wildlife including Bobwhite Quail, Grasshopper Sparrows and bobcat.

If you have questions about the Lake LU Nature Trail system, please contact Robby Limerick at 205-652-9266 or lrr@uwa.edu. or additional information on using prescribed fire as a management tool, please contact Dr. Lee Stanton, director of the Black Belt Conservation and Research Institute, at 205-652-9266 or lstanton@uwa.edu.