Tuesday, August 3, 2021


Public health experts are concerned many kids have missed important checkups and vaccinations, and a third DC Police officer who responded to the January 6 insurrection takes his own life.


The White House calls for states to rescue renters, Senators dissect a massive infrastructure plan, and both the White House and Congress are losing approval in the eyes of voters.

Report: For Healthier Lands, IL Needs More Prescribed Fires


Monday, March 28, 2016   

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Conservation groups say Illinois could be using controlled fires more often and more effectively to help protect wildlife habitat and clean up areas that need it.

Groups such as the Nature Conservancy cite a new report that shows the state should be burning at least 213,000 acres of land a year, to help protect more than a million acres of natural areas. But controlled burns are now only being used on six percent of that land.

John McCabe, resource management director for the Forest Preserve of Cook County, says prescribed fires help remove the underbrush that causes more severe wildfires, and destroy invasive plants.

"So, it allows these areas to stay in the best ecological health, which then will support the habitat for some of these rare and endangered species that are only found in some of these particular places on our properties," says McCabe.

The report is one of the first to put into context Illinois' need for more controlled fires. It shows that about 20 percent of conservation lands are too far gone in terms of weeds and underbrush to support even a supervised burn. McCabe says if the state does nothing, more protected lands will degrade.

He describes controlled fire as the most important land management tool available, but McCabe acknowledges public perception of the practice is often unfavorable.

He says that could be because of the media coverage of deadly wildfires in the western states.

"They see these huge flames and then, the next morning we're knocking on their door, letting them know we're going to be doing a prescribed burn behind their house," says McCabe. "And so, if they hadn't been exposed to what burning means in our area and why it's important, all they're thinking about is that 'out west' situation."

McCabe and the Nature Conservancy say the state should consider expanding existing fire programs, training more staff and volunteers to keep pace with suggestions from the Illinois Prescribed Fire Council.

get more stories like this via email

Some tenants' advocates would like Virginia's new budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding to include money for low-income renters to hire lawyers for eviction cases. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …

Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …

Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …

The Blackfeet Reservation is one of seven tribal reservations in Montana. (Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …

In a new poll, 64% of New Hampshire voters said they think capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as income from wages; 56% support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%. (Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

Social Issues

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021