Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Ongoing Thinning of Overgrowth Protects Historic Wildlife Refuge
10 Region, January 1, 2004
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National Bison Range, Moise -- Like many national wildlife refuges, the National Bison Range manages fire to improve and maintain ecosystem health, which has degraded during the past century. The refuge staff initiated a project several years ago to treat the heavy build-up of vegetation with a combination of thinning, piling, and burning to return the habitat to a more natural and healthy state. By using a combination of both contract and refuge staff, the Bison Range treated more than 35 acres of timbered lands in 2003. The fire management project paid off that summer when a lightning strike occurred on the hill where vegetation was thinned and piled earlier in the spring.

?The quick response of refuge firefighters, in combination with the thinning and piling, held the wildfire to less than 1/10 of an acre in size during one of the most extreme fire seasons on record for Montana,? said Bob Rebarchik, FWS fire management officer for Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.

No contact information available. Please contact Larry Dean, 612-713-5313, larry_dean@fws.gov
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