This past week, we stepped out into a different realm most would not picture us in. We took advantage of the 1000's of acres of public land in southwest Missouri open to hunting. These acres are held and managed by the US Forest Service. There are two separate units in this area, one being a Wilderness and the other units being actively managed using prescribed fire and intense TSI. This was the perfect way for us to examine and explore both units to accurately compare preservation versus conservation mindset.
It became very clear just a few steps into the wilderness that we chose to hunt during the morning that the habitat was declining rapidly. Without the regular disturbances like fire or grazing, these 13,000 acres should be experiencing, the native grasses and diverse forbs are fading fast. Red cedar is encroaching quickly across the glades and the disappearing woodlands. The understory was full of these diversity robbing trees. In comparison, just across the road, crews have been hired to cut the cedars and follow up with routine prescribed fire. Cedars were few and far between, but the grass components of the glades were healthy, full, and expanding. Shrubs and young forests were regenerating around every turn.
During this podcast, you will hear us provide strong evidence to actively manage the property in which you have access too. Without active disturbances to the habitat, you lose the productiveness quickly. Get out with a chainsaw and create something! Don't overthink it, use this podcast as fuel to improve the ground you are responsible for!