WEST POINT LAKE, Ga. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at West Point Project announced today that prescribed burning of selected timber stands around the reservoir is underway.
Each winter, the Corps works with Forestry Commissions in both Alabama and Georgia to conduct controlled burns for improvement of wildlife habitat and reduction of wildfire potential on the public property surrounding the reservoir.
A total of more than 2,000 acres of public land are included in the Corps’ burning plan for 2019. Areas to be burned include: Maple Creek Hunting Area, Bird Creek Hunting Area, Glass Bridge Park, Long Cane Park, McGee Bridge Park, Holiday Campground, and Georgia Park, Lakeside Bike Trail Area, Whitetail Ridge Campground, Stateline Hunting Area, Veasey Creek Park, Anderson Park, and Oakland Road Hunting Area.
“Prescribed fire is an important forest management tool. The overall purpose of the prescribed burns is to improve wildlife habitat, improve forest health and reduce wildfire risks on public property,” said Park Ranger Ben Williams, the prescribed fire program coordinator.
The Corps conducts prescribed burning for a number of reasons:
• To remove accumulated fuels, such as pine straw, leaves and dead, dry vegetation, thus reducing the risk of intense wildfires.
• Prescribed fires improve natural forest conditions by promoting seed germination, flowering, or sprouting of native plants.
• Burning of the forest and under-story plants improves the forage quality and quantity for wildlife, such as deer, turkeys, and quail and other bird species. New shrub, herb, and grass sprouts capture the quick flush of nutrients into the soil after a fire and are often more nutritious and palatable than older plants.
For more specific information on this topic, or any other issue related to the management of West Point Project, please contact Park Rangers at the Project Management Office at 706-645-2937.