By By Kyle Kraynak, park ranger, Shenango Lake
Fifteen Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildland Firefighters from Crawford, Venango and Mercer counties conducted a prescribed and controlled burn on U.S. Army Corps of Engineer land leased to them at Shenango Lake March 29.
The fire regenerates growth of native grasses that provide cover habitat and foraging opportunities as well.
Without fire, the ecosystem would move towards an ecological succession ecosystem and eventually develop into a forested landscape, thus losing the necessary benefits of the grasslands and flowering communities.
Approximately 10 acres were burned, but a total of 57.5 acres are to be burned off on PA Game Commission-leased lands for habitat improvement measures around Shenango Lake. The PA Game Commission leases 3,150 acres for wildlife and habitat management purposes around Shenango Lake.
The purpose of prescribed burns is to utilize fire as a natural resources management tool in the ecosystem. The leased lands are a propagation area around Shenango Lake for wildlife ranging from waterfowl, pheasant, bald eagles, turkey and deer.
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Pennsylvania Game Commission