Published: April 2, 2013 by the Southeast Region
Contact(s): Tim Lizotte area wildlife supervisor, 262-574-2120, Marcus Smith, DNR communications, 414-263-8516
MILWAUKEE -The Department of Natural Resources will be conducting burns on public lands this spring in southeast Wisconsin. All burns are weather dependent and will only be conducted under safe conditions according to approved plans. Crews may or may not complete all planned burns in a season.
Controlled or prescribed burning is an ecological and economical method of controlling exotic and unwanted invasive plants that crowd out desirable native vegetation. Burning also:
• Stimulates prairie grass growth and improves habitat for upland game, songbirds, and waterfowl;
• Creates pockets of open water for waterfowl amidst dense cattails in wetlands;
• Reduces invasive brush such as buckthorn and honeysuckle within oak woodlands and savanna;
• Helps preserve native grasslands and wildflowers, plant species that were sustained by natural fires prior to intensive European settlement.
DNR biologists will start their spring burning schedule as weather permits. Typically, the spring burning season begins in April and extends into mid-May but local weather conditions can lead to an earlier start or a later finish to burning efforts. Burns not completed this spring may be done next fall or winter. State Wildlife Areas, Public Hunting Grounds, State Fisheries Areas, State Parks and State Natural Areas scheduled for burns in southeast Wisconsin are located in:
• Kenosha County: Richard Bong State Recreation Area, New Munster Wildlife Area, Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area and scattered fish and wildlife lands
• Milwaukee County: Havenwoods State Forest
• Ozaukee County: Harrington Beach State Park
• Racine County: Honey Creek Wildlife Area and Tichigan Wildlife Area
• Washington County: Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area, Theresa Wildlife Area, Allenton Wildlife Area and the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest
• Walworth County: Kettle Moraine State Forest near LaGrange and Whitewater, Turtle Valley Wildlife Area, Turtle Creek Wildlife Area, Bloomfield & Ivanhoe Fisheries Areas, Clover Valley Wildlife Area, Beulah Bog State Natural Area and scattered wildlife properties
• Waukesha County: Vernon Wildlife Area, Kettle Moraine State Forest near Eagle, Ottawa, and Lapham Peak, Big Muskego Wildlife Area and Lulu Lake State Natural Area