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Prescribed Burns Scheduled to Improve Delta Junction State Bison Range

Delta Junction — A series of prescribed burns is scheduled for portions of the Delta Junction State Bison Range this spring to enhance habitat for wildlife ranging from birds to bison. Planned for the Gerstle and Panoramic fields after they are snow-free — likely between April 30, and mid-May — burn timing will be based on weather and availability of Forestry staff to monitor the fire.

The burns will comprise approximately 1,200 acres and include a variety of vegetation types. To provide multiple successional stages of plants and maximize benefits to wildlife, plans include an uneven burn over previously cleared areas ranging from grasses to mature hardwoods. Bison, moose, grouse, snowshoe hare, and many other species depend on various stages of succession for food and cover.

The Delta Junction Bison Range was created by the Alaska Legislature in 1979 to perpetuate free-ranging bison. It encompasses nearly 90,000 acres north of the Granite Mountains between Granite Creek and the Little Gerstle River. Prescribed fire has been used for habitat management throughout the history of the Delta Bison Range and is the most effective method for creating and enhancing forage for bison as mandated by statute.

The Department of Fish and Game and Division of Forestry last spring burned approximately 800 acres in the northern half of the Panoramic Field Complex. Updates on plans for the prescribed burns will be forthcoming as specific dates are scheduled.

For more information check http://akfireinfo.com or contact Sue Rodman at (907) 317-7236, sue.rodman@alaska.gov, or Bob Schmidt at (907) 895-7491, bob.schmidt@alaska.gov.