Greater Yellowstone Crew Leaders Take South Dakota

  • April 13, 2019
  • Posted by Megan O'Brien

This past week was spent in South Dakota at the Angostura Reservoir State Recreation Area as the Crew Leaders first hitch together. During our time there, we aided park staff by prepping a large section of land for a prescribed burn to happen in April.

Our main task was limbing up ponderosa trees. The trunks of these trees are naturally pretty resistant to damage by fire, and their cones are serotinous, meaning they actually require fire to open them so their seeds can disperse.

We also helped by cutting down and thinning out the juniper trees, which have no resistance to fire, surrounding and growing within the ponderosas. If we didn’t take them down, the junipers would just catch the upper limbs of the ponderosas on fire and thus rendering the limbing work useless.

The land we worked on hasn’t been burned in 70 odd years. It was fascinating and fulfilling to learn so much about the usefulness of fire and to be apart of a project that is bringing back the natural ecology of the environment.


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