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Patch-Burn Grazing: Is it Right for Missouri’s Remaining High Quality Prairies?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 7:30 PM-9:00 PM

Featured Speaker: Paul Nelson, Ecology and Land Management Planner, United States Forest Service

Paul Nelson talks about the implementation of patch-burn grazing (a rotational system alternating grazers such as bison or cattle and the use of prescribed fire) on tall grass prairies within Missouri, some of the last remaining fragments of a once dominant ecosystem, and discusses some of the successes and dangers associated with this management practice.

Patch-burn grazing, increasingly common on prairies throughout Missouri and the Midwest, is generally used to increase landscape heterogeneity. The result is a landscape that provides a variety of treatment types that theoretically allow for increased flora and fauna diversity.

As of 2009, this system is currently being applied by the Missouri Department of Conservation on 11 different prairies managed by the Department, representing 17% of MDC managed prairies. Included are several designated Natural Areas such as Niawathe and Taberville prairies. Patch-burn grazing’s impact upon floral composition of the treated natural areas has been the source of much contention lately.

Paul Nelson is one of the premier ecologists in the State of Missouri and the author of, Terrestrial Natural Communities of Missouri, a classification system that describes Missouri’s diverse ecosystems. Nelson has also served as lead illustrator of ten botanical books.

This program is presented as joint venture between the Saint Louis Zoo, Forest Park Forever, and the Missouri Native Plant Society

Saint Louis Zoo Living World Auditorium

FREE and OPEN to ALL. Registration not required.

Parking is FREE in ZOO North Lot or in Forest Park.

Conservation Conversations are Co-sponsored by:


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
7:30 PM-9:00 PM
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