MOBILE, Ala. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District at West Point Lake Project announces prescribed burning of selected timber stands around the reservoir is underway and will begin immediately once weather conditions are favorable.
“Prescribed fire is an important forest management tool,” said Park Ranger Derrick Wilkerson, prescribed fire program coordinator at West Point Lake Project. “The overall purpose of the prescribed burns is to improve wildlife habitat, improve forest health, and reduce wildfire risks on public property.”
Each winter, the Corps at West Point Lake works with Forestry Commissions in 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 1,800 acres of public land are included in our burning plan for 2020,” said Wilkerson.
Areas for prescribed burning include:
- R. Shaefer Heard Day Use, Maple Creek Hunting Area
- Whitetail Ridge Hunting Area, Holiday Campground
- Indian Springs, Horace King, Clark Park
- Liberty Hill, Amity Campground, Stateline Hunting Area,
- Oakland Road Hunting Area, West Lake Hunting Area, Hardley Creek Park
The Corps conducts prescribed burning for several reasons:
1. The fire removes accumulated fuels, such as pine straw, leaves and dead, dry vegetation, thus reducing the risk of intense wildfires.
2. Prescribed fires improve natural forest conditions by promoting seed germination, flowering, or sprouting of native plants.
3. Burning of the forest and under-story plants improves the forage quality and quantity for wildlife, such as deer, turkeys, 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 information, contact the West Point Lake Project Office at 706-645-2937 or West_Point_Lake@usace.army.mil.
West Point Lake is a man-made reservoir impounded by the West Point Dam on the Chattahoochee River, authorized for flood control, hydroelectric power, navigation, fish and wildlife development and general recreation. Surrounded by deep forests and rolling fields extending 35 miles along the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia state line, the lake has approximately 525 miles of shoreline and features a wide variety of recreation activities including fishing, camping and boating for public enjoyment.
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