Elk NetworkSmall Fires Benefit More than Elk, Bees Too

General | May 28, 2020

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation long maintained prescribed burns that mimic historic burns are good for both wildlife habitat as well as overall forest health. Recent research supports that claim.

A new study indicates as small natural fires increase plant diversity, they also benefit native pollinators.

“There are lots of floral resources, they tend to be the same floral resources across these big high severity patches, because there’s only certain types of plants that can come back after these big high severity fires, and you don’t have that heterogeneity at all,” Lauren Ponisio, lead researcher, told Wyoming Public Media. “It’s all the same type of habitats.”

Prescribed fires remove dead downfall, pine needles and underbrush while stimulating the growth of native vegetation that benefits elk, deer, small mammals, birds and other animal life. And bees too.

(Photo source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)