File photo

Pipestone National Monument plans to have a prescribed burn lasting one day during the period of April 26 – May 22.  When appropriate wind, temperature, and humidity conditions exist within this date range, approximately 100 acres of the tall grass prairie will be burned.

Additional information will be provided to park neighbors and the media when the appropriated conditions are forecasted, and the specific date of the prescribed burn is determined.

Historically, the 18 million acres of native tall grass prairie that once covered the central plains, including Minnesota, experienced repeated lightning-caused fires.  The continual burning of the prairie reduced the buildup of accumulated organic plant material, and ensured native prairie growth by recycling essential nutrients such as nitrogen, and phosphate, and decreasing plant competition from invading exotic species.

Less than one percent of the original tall grass prairie in Minnesota remains.  Prescribed burns are conducted to mimic the benefits that fire produces for a healthy prairie.  The Monument has been conducting burns of the tall grass prairie since 1971.