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Tuesday, February 7 • 11:20am - 11:40am
Symposia Session - S6: Impact of Prescribed and Wild Fires on the Great Plains. Sandhills Task Force: Facilitating Private/Public Partnerships to Address Eastern Red Cedar Encroachment

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AUTHORS: Shelly Kelly, Sandhills Task Force

ABSTRACT: The Sandhills Task Force (STF) is a grass-roots non-profit organization that promotes and facilitates conservation on private lands in the Nebraska Sandhills while promoting private profitable ranching.  Eastern red cedar is arguably the biggest threat to the native Sandhills rangeland. Recently, the STF has formed a partnership with the US Forest Service to create the Flagship Private Lands Prescribed Burning Program where highly trained USFS employees can effectively train local landowners on prescribed burn techniques and safety while conducting prescribed burns to control eastern red cedar invasion. This new partnership will dovetail with current STF partnerships with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and others. 

The STF is lead by 16 Board of Directors; 9 of which are ranchers with the remaining members representing federal, state, and other agencies. The STF is positioned to facilitate effective partnerships between private landowners and conservation professionals because they are acutely aware of the invasive cedar encroachment problem and they understand that conservation efforts are needed to ensure success in the ranching industry in the future.  

Prescribed burning has not been viewed as an accepted practice in most parts the Sandhills, but the STF is committed to educating landowners and the public about the benefits of using that tool and fostering and advancing the present knowledge base in safe and effective prescribed burn techniques. 

Tuesday February 7, 2017 11:20am - 11:40am
Arbor I/II

Attendees (7)