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NICHES has controlled burn in Warren Co.

NICHES Land Trust conducted a controlled burn in the Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve in Warren County Thursday.

Posted: Mar 15, 2018 6:04 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2018 10:41 PM

WARREN CO., Ind. (WLFI) -- NICHES Land Trust is busy conducting controlled burns on several properties.

Thursday it had a controlled burn at the Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve in Warren County. 50 acres of prairie and forest floor were burned to cleanse the landscape and release nutrients back into the ground.

The fire kills invasive species like garlic mustard and allows rare plants to grow better.

Stewardship manager Bob Easter said controlled burns are a practice going back hundreds of years.

"Fire was a natural thing that was used in the everyday life of the native people that lived here. These places are not just adapted to burning, they are shaped by fire," said Easter.

NICHES will only perform their burns under the right temperature and wind conditions.

"This is a good time of year for us to get this stuff in, it kind of sets us management for the year. So the more fires that we can do the greater impact that we can have doing all of our work throughout the season," said Easter.

NICHES has had 60 similar controlled burns since 2014. They have a total of 12 burns scheduled for this spring.

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