eco-management by fire

Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve – NC Botanical Gardens
An Eno River Treasure

Friday, April 4,2003 brought fairly calm skies and the right humidity. Staff from the N.C. Botanical Gardens and volunteers came together to use fire to manage plant species in the upper meadow of Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve. The burn was managed by Johnny Randall of the Botanical Gardens. He and several other participants of the burn have been thoroughly trained on controlled burns, including fire safety and fire management.

Johnny made sure the entire crew understood the use of the tools and management of the fire before going to work. It should go without saying that fire is dangerous. Risks include the fire getting out of control, injuries to people working, smoke inhalation and heat stroke. No one should attempt a controlled burn without adequate training.

Mowing shortens grasses. Burning helps to eliminate invasive species and to promote the healthy growth of native species. It has been an important tool in conservation management for centuries and was used heavily by native Americans long before Europeans arrived on these shores.

Here’s what it looked like: