LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in cooperation with Quail Forever and the Arkansas Forestry Association, will be hosting special workshops for land managers on how and when to use fire to promote better wildlife habitat on their property. Workshops are scheduled for Malvern, Mountain View and Ash Flat in the next few weeks, and more will be scheduled as the year goes on.
Many Arkansans grew up with Smokey Bear preaching the dangers of uncontrolled fire in the forest, but given the right conditions and supervision, fire can be one of the greatest tools a landowner has to increase valuable wildlife habitat on his or her property.
“Many species of early grasses and plants that produce abundant food for wildlife need fire to remain established,” said Jason Honey, private lands biologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “Some of these plants have seeds which require fire to become active; in other cases fire activates the plants by removing leaves and other debris from the ground and allowing sunlight to penetrate to the soil.”
Honey says landowners who attend one of these workshops will not only learn why they should use controlled fire on their property, but how to use it to properly establish high-quality habitat for quail, turkeys, deer and a variety of other wildlife species.
“Most areas of Arkansas historically were exposed to periodic, low-intensity fires,” Honey said. “These smaller fires kept food on the ground for wildlife and prevented larger, catastrophic wildfires.”
During the workshop landowners also will be able to meet with private lands biologists in their area and learn about some of the programs available to assist them in their wildlife management goals.
“There are available programs for landowners meeting certain criteria to receive assistance in planning and conducting a burn, as well as programs to enroll land into conservation easements for a small compensation.,” Honey said. “We can work with you to help achieve many wildlife management goals from there.”
The workshops all will be held in a classroom setting, and lunch will be provided to all attendees who register in advance. The following workshops are being sponsored by the AGFC, Quail Forever, and the Arkansas Forestry Association.
Feb. 14, 2019
Malvern 4H Center
1407 MLK Blvd., Malvern AR 72104
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/learn-to-burn-tickets-malvern
Jan. 26, 2019 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Intersection of Warren Street and Park Ave.
Mountain View, AR 72560
Register at https://learn-to-burn-mtview.eventbrite.com
Jan 29, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
64 College Drive
Ash Flat, AR 72513
Register at https://learn-to-burn-ash flat.eventbrite.com
1-17-19 8:20 a.m. kawx.org