Bringing Back the Prairie

Bruce Reynolds and Julie Hoffman are bringing back the prairie on land where they raise livestock in south central Oklahoma. Over the years, forests of juniper and cedar have taken over the grasslands. They’re working to remove the cedar and return the land to its former glory – native grasslands. With the help of NRCS, the grasslands on the land are returning, booming with many different wildflowers. These grasslands provide high-quality food for cattle as well as critical habitat for bees, butterflies, northern bobwhite and many other species.

Call for Data: U.S. Post-Fire Tree Mortality Data

We seek data contributions to a Joint Fire Sciences Program project examining tree mortality due to wildland fire in the U.S. We are interested in U.S. datasets that at minimum include year of fire, county, state, and individual tree records of species, DBH and crown injury (some measure of crown scorch, kill, and/or consumption)

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Traveling art exhibit: Prairie Touched by Light

Now showing through June 26, 2016 at: Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, Kansas City, MO


The Great Plains Fire Science Exchange has a traveling art exhibit focused on tallgrass prairie fire. It was developed in the Flint Hills and is composed of original works, including photography (showcased on a looping DVD) as well as poetry. The content of this exhibit will resonate with grassland enthusiasts throughout the Great Plains region. You may reserve the exhibit by contacting us at

Included in the exhibit kit:

DVD, title sign, poetry placards, stands, table cloth, and brochures. You supply the monitor and DVD player. The display fits best on a 8-foot table.

Installation photos

Installation at the Springfield, MO Nature Center (photography on the wall courtesy of the Nature Center).

Installation at the Springfield, MO Nature Center (photography on the wall courtesy of the Nature Center).

Installation at the Springfield, MO Botanical Center.

Installation at the Springfield, MO Botanical Center.

Installation at George Washington Carver National Monument. Mr. Carver's life served as the backdrop for the exhibit.

Installation at George Washington Carver National Monument. Mr. Carver's life served as the backdrop for the exhibit.

Installation at the America's Grassland conference in Manhattan, KS (2013).

Installation at the America's Grassland conference in Manhattan, KS (2013).

Focus groups for farmers and ranchers

Researchers from South Dakota State University will be hosting focus groups in an effort to gain a better understanding of the drivers of land management decisions made by farmers and ranchers. Participants will be compensated. The focus groups will be held March 3-4 in various locations in North and South Dakota. 

View Focus Groups Information Flyer >

Missouri prescribed fire workshops for landowners

The Missouri Department of Conservation will offer several workshops this spring for landowners interested in learning how to use prescribed fire. Each workshop will consist of a classroom session followed by a demonstration burn, weather permitting.

All workshops are free to attend, but participants must pre-register.

Workshops are listed below. Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website to learn more.

Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

Vienna Volunteer Fire Protection District — 308 N. Mill St., Vienna
9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19 -- Register by Feb. 16.
Call Seth Barrioz, Private Land Conservationist, at 573-897-3797 ext. 116

Camdenton Conservation Office — 783 Thunder Mountain Road, Camdenton
6 – 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 -- Register by Feb. 22.
Call Jodi Moulder, Private Land Conservationist, at 573-346-2210 ext. 233
* Will not include demonstration burn

Big Spring Fire Department – 758 S. Highway 19, New Florence
9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, March 5 -- Register by March 3.
Call Jamie Barton, Private Land Conservationist, at 573-564-3715 ext. 110

Lincoln University, Carver Farm – 3804 Bald Hill Road, Jefferson City
8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, March 5 -- Register by March 1.
Call Dean Stucker, Private Land Conservationist, at 573-796-0286 ext. 4282

Prairie Fork Conservation Area – Williamsburg
9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, March 19 -- Register by March 17.
Call Jamie Barton, Private Land Conservationist, at 573-564-3715 ext. 110

Prescribed burn training offered this winter in Texas

The Academy for Ranch Management will offer two rangeland burning schools this winter. Both burn training schools will take place at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Sonora Station (located on State Highway 55 between Sonora and Rocksprings).

The Introductory Prescribed Rangeland Burning School will be held February 18-20, 2016. The Advanced Rangeland Burning School will be held March 3-5, 2016.

The cost for each school is $395 (includes meals and lodging). In addition, a $45 fee for facilities use will be due upon arrival for each school.

If interested in attending either school, go to for a registration form, and mail it along with payment to Jeanne Andreski at: Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, 2138 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2138. Those planning to attend should also send an email to Ray Hinnant at so they can be added to the list. For more information, call Hinnant at 979-820-1778.

2016 Nebraska Pheasants Forever Prescribed Fire Workshops

The Nebraska Chapter of Pheasants Forever will offer several prescribed fire training workshops during the winter and spring of 2016. A series of 13 basic and advanced workshops will be held across the state to provide classroom-based training to landowners, land managers, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in the safe and effective use of prescribed fire. No prior experience is needed to attend. View the PDF announcement to learn more and register.

View Announcement PDF >

Winter burn workshops in Kansas

The following is a current list of burn workshops that will be offered in Kansas this winter.


November 17 (Kickapoo Nation)

                Location: Horton, Bingo Hall at Golden Eagle Casino

                Contact email:

                Contact phone:  785-945-6147

January 6 (Rice County)

                Location: Lyons, Rice County Extension Building

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 620-257-5313

January 7 (Labette/Neosho)

                Location: Parsons, Southeast Kansas Extension Research Center

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 620-784-5431 X1224

February 4 (Russell/Lincoln/Ellsworth)

                Location: Wilson, Parish Hall

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 785-483-3157

February 9 (Bourbon)

                Location: Ft. Scott, Ft. Scott National Historic Site

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 620-224-6031

February 11 (Harper)

                Location: Harper, Fair Building (Blue Barn)

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 620-842-5445

February 17 (Butler)

                Location: El Dorado, Community 4-H Building

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 316-321-9660

February 19 (Riley)

                Location: Manhattan, Pottorf Hall, Fairgrounds

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 785-537-6350

February 24 (Anderson)

                Location: Garnett, Community Building

                Contact email:

                Contact phone: 785-828-443

Scholarships available for 2015 Wildland Fire Academy

Apply now for scholarships for the 2015 Wildland Fire Academy. Courses will be held in Jay, Oklahoma from October 18 to October 30. 

The Wildland Fire Academy offers a variety of courses that will benefit prescribed fire practitioners, wildland firefighters, and volunteer fire department members. 

Learn more and apply for scholarships >

NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant call for proposals

The North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) has announced its 2016 Farmer Rancher Grant call for proposals. Farmers and ranchers in the North Central region may submit grant proposals for projects related to sustainable agriculture on the farm or ranch.  

Three types of grants are available:

  •  individual grants ($7,500 maximum),
  • "team of two" grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($15,000 maximum), and
  • group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($22,500 maximum). 

NCR-SARE will be accepting online submissions for the Farmer Rancher Grant Program. Proposals are due December 3, 2015.

Learn more >

JFSP 2016 Notice of Intent

View the proposed topics for the upcoming call for proposals from the Joint Fire Science Program.  Future calls will rotate through fire science exchanges to provide regional opportunities.  Contact us if you'd like to discuss Great Plains research priorities or letters of support.

Affordable fire liability insurance

If you are seeking prescribed fire liability insurance, check out the Bramlett Agency of Ardmore, OK.  Their insurance is affordable and can be used in any state.

Cost is $500 for two burns per year, with additional burns available for $250 each. More information on this insurance can be found here: Bramlett Fire InsuranceNOTE: This document contains a mistake: no certified burner is needed.

For more information, contact the Bramlett Agency (contact info can be found in the document). Thanks goes to the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association for finding this affordable insurance!

New federal strategy to protect sagebrush landscapes and rangeland in 2015

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, issued a Secretarial Order on January 6, 2015 calling for a science-based approach to address the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires in sagebrush landscapes and productive rangelands, especially in the Great Basin region of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California. This new strategy involves establishing a Rangeland Fire Task Force, which will work alongside other federal agencies, states, tribes, local entities, and non-governmental groups to improve fire management and habitat restoration activities.

Goals outlined include:

  • reducing size, severity and cost of rangeland fires;
  • addressing invasive species; and
  • increasing effectiveness of wildland fire management resources.

Secretary Jewell stated, “Targeted action is urgently needed to conserve habitat for the greater sage-grouse and other wildlife in the Great Basin, as well as to maintain ranching and recreation economies that depend on sagebrush landscapes. The Secretarial Order further demonstrates our strong commitment to work with our federal, state, tribal and community partners to reduce the likelihood and severity of rangeland fire, stem the spread of invasive species, and restore the health and resilience of sagebrush ecosystems.”

Read the full story and find links to further information here: DOI News Release 1.6.15 (.doc) >

Carbon credits from working grasslands

The USDA has partnered with several other organizations to allow entities to purchase carbon credits generated by working ranch grasslands. Chevrolet recently made the first big purchase, buying almost 40,000 carbon dioxide reduction tons that were created by working grasslands in the Prairie Pothole region of North Dakota. Landowners can choose to put their land under perpetual easement and receive compensation for the carbon credits that accumulate as a result of avoiding conversion of their grassland. This USDA initiative is part of a broader government effort to protect America’s natural resources in the face of climate change.

Learn more in this press release from the USDA: Carbon Credit Sale.

Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Photo credit: Kathy Trarbach

Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Photo credit: Kathy Trarbach