Prescribed burning is a key land management tool that is used to maintain native prairie, oak-hickory forest, old fields, and barrens. It improves habitat for wild turkey, quail, deer, and many other species of wildlife prioritized in the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan. This is not the first time our landscape has seen fire, however. Historical ecology tells us that the success of these native species and their habitat is dependent on regular disturbance... for example, wildfire. Ironically, decades of suppression of naturally occurring fires has negatively affected the species composition of our forests and prairies. The result is an explosion of invasive species and a buildup of hazardous fuel. The solution involves carefully reintroducing fire to the landscape.
The forest ecosystem is an incredibly powerful force, but it is also very fragile. For centuries, natural occurances and cycles have kept forests vibrant, which has allowed them to continue to grow and prosper. At SIPBA, we want to ensure that this natural growth and beauty is preserved, so that future generations may enjoy taking in the sights of a fully indpendent, functioning ecosystem. One of the biggest culprits of the rapid extinction of forest dwelling plant and wildlife species is unatural disruptions to the forest lifecycle. The introduction of invasive species, pollution, deforestation, and the supression of natural events, such as flooding, the natural food chain, and forest fires have all contributed to their disapperance. Our hope at SIPBA, is to garner members that share our passion for protecting the land we call home. Our team envisions miles of colorful thriving forests, returning to Southern Illinois in the coming years, making it a happier, and healthier place to live.
To learn more about fire safety and how to prepare your home against wildfires, View our checklist.