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Cuyahoga Valley National Park considers fire to fight invasives
Public comment is accepted through Aug. 1

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Richfield Colesium was blown up in 1999, and has become a bird sanctuary since.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
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The National Park Service is asking for public conments on whether it should expand controlled-burns in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to control invasive plants WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the plan.

LISTEN: The purpose of the burns

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Prescribed fires aren’t used as often in national lands here as they are out west. In fact, the first one in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park was in 2012, when rangers set fire to 13 acres in Boston Township.

Now the park is considering two additional areas – one in Valley View and the other on the site of the old Richfield Colesium – the sports arena that was demolished 15 years ago and turned into part of the park.

Chris Davis is in charge of developing the burn plan.

“Out there now is a really big field that supports some really cool ground-nesting birds. But almost all the vegetation out there is non-native. So at a site like that, we would hope to use prescribed fire g – with cooperation with reseeding and things like that – to try to promote the transfer from a nonnative prairie to a more native habitat out there.” 

Davis says the native plants – especially prairie grasses -- generally survive the fire better than the invasives. Such burns are used more often by the Cleveland and Summit Metroparks, some of which adjoin the national park.

The deadline for comments is Aug. 1, and the burn could be in the fall or next spring.

Listener Comments:

I'm for the controlled burn. There are not enough people (myself included) who volunteer for the removal of invasive plant species. Therefore, another solution is needed and I think a controlled burn would really help the area. Thanks for the ability for the public to comment.

Erin Patch

Posted by: Erin Patch (Kent, OH) on July 8, 2014 10:07AM
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