Field Trips & Webinars

                             Registration is now open. Read details below and register here

2023 Field Trips (Must be a member to attend)
  • Prescribed Fire for Limestone Glade and Woodland Restoration on Fort Knox Military Installation

Description: Fort Knox is home to several remnant glades scattered across the installation that have seen restoration efforts from the Natural Resources Branch.  The Cedar Creek Glade Complex is located in Hardin County and has a history of prescribed fire as well as cedar removal and invasive species control treatments.  These glades are a unique community that support a suite of rare & state-listed plants and are under threat of woody encroachment from both cedar and hardwood competition.  Prescribed fire is one management tool used within the glades to maintain their unique plant and animal communities.  A concentrated effort was initiated in 2016 to restore forest & glade connectivity to an open woodland condition on ~175 acres.  Midstory herbicide treatment followed by a commercial timber sale were the first management actions initiated to reduce forest stocking in 2017 and 2018. Although historical prescribed fires focused specifically on the glades themselves more recent fire objectives expanded to larger woodland units totaling 92 acres and 70 acres, respectively.  Each woodland unit has seen one fire (2020 and 2021) with burn rotations scheduled to take place every 2-3 years including both dormant season as well as late growing season rotations.  Successful woodland restoration will obviously take much more than a timber sale and a few prescribed fires but this field trip can provide a snapshot view of the processes as well as lead into other topics touching on glades, woodland restoration, forest management as well as prescribed fire practices. 
Location: Fort Knox, Hardin Co.
Led by: Fort Knox Natural Resources Branch Staff 
Dates: July 25th
Time: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Eastern Time
Materials needed: Field clothes, insect protection and sun protection. Please bring plenty of water and a lunch as there will be time set aside to eat.
Maximum participants: 70
All participants will need to obtain a "5 Day Fast Pass", a visitors pass to the installation. A link and instructions will be sent out to registered participants the week before the event. 
  • Role of Prescribed Fire to Maintain Habitat for Monarch Butterflies and other Pollinators

Description: Since the mid-1990s, the eastern monarch population has declined by approximately 85%. In response to the population loss, monarchs are currently on the candidate waiting list for Endangered Species Act protection. In the United States, monarchs have lost up to 165 million acres of breeding habitat due to herbicide use and anthropogenic development. Monarchs rely on milkweed species (Asclepias sp.) as a host for laying eggs and as food when they are caterpillars. Between 1999 and 2012, milkweed numbers across the midwest declined by an estimated 64% due to threats such as habitat loss, anthropogenic development, and herbicide use. OKNP and KDFWR have used efforts to help restore pollinator and monarch habitat at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. OKNP has used prescribed fire on rotation over the last decade to maintain grassland habitat and promote growth of pollinator friendly plants in a key roosting area for the monarch butterfly. Potential to tie in tagging event.
Location: Perryville, Boyle Co.    
Led by: Heidi Braunreiter and Maddy Heredia, Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves
Dates: September 26th, 2023
Time: 2-3 hrs, TBD
Materials needed: Field clothes. Nets and tags provided (if applicable).
Maximum participants: 20
2023 Webinars (open to all)
  • Using Fire to Conserve Kentucky’s Natural Heritage

Description: About 65% of the species and communities tracked by the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves occur in disturbance based communities.  Historically, this disturbance came in the form of large grazing mammals, wildfire, or through intentional fires set by Indigenous people.  In order to maintain these remnant natural communities and preserve Kentucky’s natural heritage, the Office regularly uses prescribed fire as a modern disturbance event to setback succession and improve site conditions.  This presentation looks at several priority projects OKNP has worked on over the last five years and how fire has been an important tool in preservation and management. This presentation is best suited for students or non-professionals and highlights the importance of disturbance in managing natural areas in Kentucky.

Led by: Josh Lillpop, Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves
Dates: October 26th, 2023
Time: 6:00 pm Eastern Time
Duration: 1 hour
  • Making a Case for Late-Growing Season Prescribed Fire

Description: If asked, when is the best or most common time to burn? What would you say? Many prescribed fire practitioners might say the spring or dormant season. However, there is growing evidence and support for the idea that fire seasonality should be varied to achieve specific objectives. Join Jarred Brooke, Extension Wildlife Specialist, and INPFC Chair, as he describes some of his (and others) research and extension efforts related to making a case for late-growing prescribed fire in Indiana. 
Led by: Jarred Brooke,  Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Dates: August 28th, 2023
Time: 12:00 pm Eastern Time
Duration: 1 hour