In the last 150 years, Wisconsin has been the site of some of the most extreme fires and land-use changes in United States history.
Settlers cleared forests, erased prairies, and wetlands, and shaped the land to provide livelihoods for farmers. Over time land management practices of Native Americans were pushed aside and forgotten. As a result, invasive species, declining threatened species, and habitat loss have become common.
It's not all doom and gloom as one of our biggest foes, fire could be our biggest ally when it comes to land management and stewardship in the future. "The single most cost-effective management tool that we have." Peter Dourkop, Ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and even farm edges were historically burned with prescribed fire but why did that all stop?