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SoilKeepers Virginia Wildlife Habitat Cooperative

On Burning Central Virginia Lawns and Field Grasslands for Site Preparation and Biodiversity

What can be so hard about burning grasslands? Well in our experience a lot. There is the heat and there is the smoke. Both are useful. How much heat do you need? For how long? How much risk are you comfortable with? We have come to the place where we work with our friends at VDOF on controlled burns for lots of reasons. By controlled burns I mean the kind that you light and basically let go. Those work great in some vegetation and not so well in others, again, depending on the goal. We can only do a few burns per year.

We want flame and fire to be used more in grasslands management. Not just a little more – dramatically more. Orders of magnitude more. For that the use of fire has to somehow be easier to do on the many marginal days in a Central Virginia calendar year with less risk all around.

So for several years we have been testing and fabricating mechanical burning – for our lawn and grasslands habitat restoration and maintenance contracting – with equipment scaled for a few thousand square feet to several acres.

Come February, SoilKeepers and the Virginia Wildlife Habitat Cooperative can begin 2021 burning for certain purposes. We burn lawns as a regenerative method to control weeds and to reset species mix. We burn field grasslands for the same reasons. How we burn though is very different. Send us an email at mike@naturalcapital.us if you are interested enough to explore a possible project.