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The original item was published from 3/6/2013 1:14:51 PM to 3/26/2013 12:05:00 AM.

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Posted on: March 6, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Join SCC for “Red Buffalo to Prescribed Fire” public program

Join Story County Conservation Natural Resource Manager Amy Yoakum and Iowa State University Assistant History Professor Julie Courtwright (author of “Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History) for a discussion about the history of prairie fires.

“Red Buffalo to Prescribed Fire” will take place on Sunday, March 24 from 2 – 3 p.m. at the Story County Conservation Center (56461 180th Street) northeast of Ames.

The history of prescribed fire across the Great Plains is rich, and it began long before Natural Resource Managers used drip torches. Prescribed fire can be traced back to Native American tribes, who called prairie fires “Red Buffalo.” They used the fire to efficiently control bison herds in search of fresh grass and effectively shaped the ecological history of Iowa.

“It can be amazing to watch fire burn through a prairie; the force seems so traumatic and final. But in all reality, fire is just an important restart in the prairie’s cycle,” SCC Naturalist, and program creator, Emily Herring said. “This a great opportunity to watch how a controlled burn is conducted and how it is a very fundamental and spectacular management tool used for centuries.”

After the presentation, program participants are encouraged to relocate to a nearby park to observe a prescribed burn by SCC staff. The prescribed burn is weather dependent.

Pre-registration for this free event is required by 4 p.m. on March 18. To register, call 515-232-2516 or email

For more information about this program, contact Story County Conservation at 515-232-2516 (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), email, or visit

Story County Conservation manages more than 3,000 acres of parks and natural areas, including lakes, campgrounds, and trails. The environmental education staff serves Story County schools and the public with interpretive and informational programs for all ages. Story County Conservation's volunteer program provides volunteer opportunities to individuals and groups interested in making a difference in local natural resources. No individual will be excluded from events conducted by Story County Conservation because of a disability or impairment. To request accommodations to participate, contact Story County Conservation.

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Emily Herring
Story County Conservation
Phone 515-232-2516
FAX 515-232-6989

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