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Many complaints about their burning practices led to this expansion:

Yesterday, we posted a press release about the prescribed burning that will take place in the Lower Buffalo Wilderness in March. Some of our FB friends have posted comments and some very good questions about prescribed burning. Hopefully, the following information will help to answer your questions. Prescribed burning can be a very controversial subject and we want to be respectful of all view points. If anyone would like additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact the park directly.


The National Park Service mission is to preserve and protect our valuable resources unimpaired for all to enjoy. We believe this means we must preserve the plants and animals that we’ve coexisted with for thousands of years. The exclusion of fire is depriving our ecosystems of a natural force that has shaped these communities since they were established. We believe exclusion of fire constitutes “impairment” and therefore, prescribed burning is the right thing to do.

The Lower Buffalo Wilderness is a large, relatively undisturbed sample of what once were high quality savanna and glade communities. Without fire, it has degraded, but it is still salvagable. Many other areas have been lost forever by depriving them of fire. In other parts of the Ozarks, more than 90% of former glades have deteriorated beyond recovery.

Without prescribed burning, the glades and savannas will become overgrown with hardwoods, resulting in a loss of critical habitat for the variety of species that require those environments.

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