Prescribed Fire Helps Wildlife


Do you the best way to kill unwanted brush and trees, reduce fuel that could cause wildfires, and encourage lush new growth that benefits wild turkeys and other wildlife? The answer is just what the doctor ordered: prescribed fire.

The National Wild Turkey Federation reports that each year in March and April, hunters raise concerns about prescribed fires burning turkey nests. But James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., the NWTF’s chief conservation officer, says the benefits of prescribed fires far outweigh the drawbacks.

“Turkeys, like many animals in the Southeast, have adapted to the natural cycles of fire that periodically renewed the forest,” Kennamer said. “This has been happening for centuries. We are restoring an important component to an ecosystem that evolved around fire. It is common to see turkeys feeding on exposed acorns and insects within hours after a prescribed burn, even with brush and grass still smoldering around them.”

Photo by: National Wild Turkey Federation

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Shannon Rikard
Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.