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HomeRegional NewsA Landowner-led Effort Along the Missouri River Pushes Back on Tree Invasion

A Landowner-led Effort Along the Missouri River Pushes Back on Tree Invasion

Started in 2016, the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association is a landowner-led effort to combat the spread of trees along the Missouri River corridor in Gregory, Charles Mix, Brule and Lyman counties.

Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist, has been working with the burn association since 2016 as a liaison officer and is vice chairman of the board. Along the river, people can already see the tree encroachment. But people are still wary of using fire to fight the issue.

“Everybody down here knows the problem. It’s just a matter of what to do to start addressing it,” Kelly said.

Kelly said one of the challenges in conducting prescribed burns, particularly along river corridors, is that it often involves a mix of public and private lands. As a member of SDSU Extension, Kelly is well-situated to bring those agencies together to hammer out jurisdictional issues.

“I want to make sure the landowner, burn association, and any state or federal organizations are all on the same page,” Kelly said.

He helped bring together the burn association, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and United States Army Corp of Engineers to sign a memorandum of agreement for prescribed burns. That agreement has been a tremendous help, he said, and having a burn association made it easier to accomplish than with one or two individuals.

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