The is planning to conduct prescribed burns on approximately 275 acres in several locations on the reservation as early as late March and into April, according to a news release from the SMSC. Additionally, two burns are planned for off the reservation.
Because the SMSC has land management authority for the burial mounds at Shakopee Memorial Park, the SMSC plans to hold a prescribed burn of the five-acre oak savanna at the park just off Highway 101. Then at the request of the City of Prior Lake, the SMSC plans to hold a prescribed burn of the four-acre oak savanna/wetland complex at Lakefront Park north of Prior Lake.
The SMSC also has plans to burn these areas on the reservation this spring:
- Pow Wow Prairie – Two acres along Dakotah Parkway near the SMSC Pow Wow rock sign
- Wetland C-7 – Two acres southwest of the Public Works building along Dakotah Parkway
- Wetland S-10 – Two acres south of Dakotah Meadows RV Park
- Lucky Seven Prairie – 35 acres north and west of the Brewer subdivision between McKenna Road and County Road83
- Buffalo Pasture – 188 acres north of the Organics Recycling Facility along McKenna Road and County Road 16
- Dockendorf Prairie – 20 acres on the old Dockendorf property along County Road 17/Marschall Road
- O’Loughlin Prairie – 14 acres on the southwest side of the intersection of County Roads 83 and 42
- Peterson Prairie – Four acres on the northwest side of the intersection of County Roads 83 and 42
- Jeuerison Prairie – Five acres west of the Pow Wow Grounds
- Wetland C-24 – 12 acres east of the Public Works Building and south of County Road 42
Staff from SMSC Land and Natural Resources and Mdewakanton Emergency Service trained in wildland firefighting conduct the burns along with staff from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. All prescribed burns are entirely dependent upon weather conditions.
A prescribed burn is an intentionally lit, low intensity fire used by land managers to replicate natural fires. Fuel reduction is one component of prescribed fire to reduce the risk of dangerous wildfires but the SMSC mostly burns for the ecological significance to our prairie restorations.
SMSC Land and Mdewakanton Emergency Services staff have conducted prescribed burns on tribal lands since 2004.