Each March, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources teams up with the staff at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill to burn portions of their extensive grasslands. Fire is an incredibly valuable tool when it comes to retarding succession and maintaining grasslands. Shaker Village has converted large portions of what was once fescue grassland into more wildlife friendly native vegetation. Without fire or some other form of disturbance, these habitats would eventually convert to brush lands and woodlands.
I always enjoy participating in these burns. It was generally a tough day of burning with lots of moisture after a weekend of snow. In the end, we were still able to create a nice mosaic of burned and unburned habitat. The seemingly hundreds of rabbits we saw will continue to benefit from this habitat work. If you get a chance this spring, you really need to go see Shaker Village. It is a nature lovers oasis.