Marsh prescribed burning certification class offered

Bruce Schultz  |  9/20/2018 6:51:21 PM

(09/20/18) LAFAYETTE, La. — A marsh prescribed burning certification class will be held Oct. 23 at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Center in Lafayette.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the class starts at 9. It is expected to end at 1:30 p.m. The Wetlands Center is located at 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette.

This is an opportunity for marsh landowners, marshland managers and those who lease marshland for waterfowl, alligators or other uses to learn how to properly conduct a prescribed burn, said Mark Shirley, coastal resources specialist with the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant.

“Under the right conditions, fire can remove years of the old dead vegetation and allow new growth to sprout,” Shirley said.

Andy Nyman, a wetlands ecology professor at the LSU AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources, said a marsh fire will stimulate new growth and also create better wildlife habitat when the water level covers the plant roots, followed by lower water levels. “Such conditions are most common just before and after winter cold fronts,” he said.

Neils De Hoop, a forestry professor at the LSU AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources, will instruct the class on gauging weather conditions to determine the proper time to safely conduct a burn. Under the right weather conditions, smoke will rise and drift away from sensitive areas such as populated areas or airports, he said.

There is no cost to attend the class but pre-registration is requested by contacting Crystal Bowman at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry at 225-922-1296 or at cbowman1@ldaf.state.la.us.

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