DNR Prescribed Burns to Include Hawthorn Lake


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be conducting prescribed burns this spring on wildlife areas managed by the Iowa DNR’s Iowa River Wildlife Unit and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Cedar, Linn, Johnson, Benton, Iowa, Tama and Mahaska counties.

Areas scheduled for burns are Iowa River Corridor in Tama, Benton, and Iowa County; Otter Creek Marsh, Kunch, Spring Grove, Union Grove, and Oxbow Bottoms in Tama County; Hawthorn Lake in Mahaska County; Hawkeye Wildlife Unit Complex and Red Bird Farms in Johnson County; Chain O Lakes Complex in Linn County; Dungeon Lake Complex in Benton County; and Mink Run in Cedar County.

Prescribed burns are used to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, restore and maintain native plant communities, and reduce wildfire potential and vary in size from a few acres to several hundred acres. Areas are typically burned every one to five years.

Ground nesting birds such as pheasants, bobwhite quail, bobolinks, dickcissels, and others benefit from habitat improvement with periodic prescribed fire. Prescribed burns typically begin mid to late morning and are completed by late afternoon or early evening between late February through May. Burns will be conducted on a day that meets the objectives and weather conditions defined in the burn plan.

For questions or concerns about prescribed burns, contact Rodney Ellingson, Wildlife Biologist, Iowa River Wildlife Unit, at 641-751-9767.

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