In accordance with our 600-page professionally developed forestry management plan for the Gus Blass Scout Reservation, we periodically conduct controlled burns on various portions of our property. In a contract with the Natural Resource and Conservation District (NRCS,) this spring we will conduct a controlled burn of approximately 800 acres. This will begin in February and run through the month of March. The controlled burns will only take place during weekdays in order to negate any adverse impact on weekend use of our facilities. Participation in this program helps to fulfill goals established by our council’s Properties Committee related to quality conservation and stewardship.
As a council we conduct these burns for the following reasons:
- Conservation best practices call for controlled burns every three years.
- Controlled burning enables the ground to release nutrients and seeds beneficial to tree production and all wildlife species.
- Reduces the fire danger to our properties by reducing the fuel load (dead downfall timber, weeds and tall grasses, pine straw buildup and leaf buildup.)
- Produces a balanced ecosystem that sustains a healthy wildlife population, sustains our Tree Farm program and reduces unwanted invasive species of plants, shrubs and trees.
- One benefit is the generation of new pine forests in areas which have not had pines planted in several years.
We wanted you, as volunteers with a vested interest in the stewardship of our camp property, to be aware of this in advance in order to eliminate any undue concerns. Your support in maintaining the health of our forested ecosystem at the Gus Blass Scout Reservation is greatly appreciated.
Our summer camp will take advantage of this program to provide educational opportunities for our scouts. We hope you will do the same with scouts in your unit.
Yours In Scouting,
Quapaw Area Council