The “Hottest” Land Restoration Tool: Prescribed Burns

By Steve Pence, Land Restoration Specialist for the Ice Age Trail Alliance
An Alliance staff member wears safety gear and watches a fire during a prescribed burn.
Steve Pence, Land Restoration Specialist, during a prescribed burn at the Table Bluff Segment of the Ice Age Trail. Photo by Jo Ellarson.

Prescribed Fire Season: March through Mid-May

Fire, a useful tool in land restoration efforts, promotes healthy ecosystems. Prescribed burns – intentionally lit fires under controlled conditions – help create healthy, native-species-filled plant and wildlife habitats, meeting land management goals.

As a certified land trust, the Ice Age Trail Alliance utilizes fire, which benefits plant and wildlife communities and improves the hiker experience along the Trail. As a result, from March through mid-May, sections of the Ice Age Trail will be closed for prescribed burns, often for only a few hours.

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Welcome Steve Pence, our new Land Restoration Specialist!

Land Restoration Specialist, Steve Pence.
Land Restoration Specialist, Steve Pence.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is excited to welcome Steve Pence as its Land Restoration Specialist.

Steve has unintentionally managed to be on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail throughout his life. Whether it is camping and hiking with his wife and dog in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest or doing habitat restoration work, the Trail has been a quiet constant in his life.

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Welcome Miranda Murphy, our new Field Engagement Intern!

Field Engagement Intern, Miranda Murphy.
Field Engagement Intern, Miranda Murphy.
We are excited to welcome Miranda Murphy to the Alliance as our new Field Engagement Intern.

Miranda recently graduated from UW-Madison, where she majored in Environmental Studies and Psychology. She was introduced to the Ice Age Trail Alliance during her last semester, when she spent a day at Alliance headquarters through a job shadow program with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Growing up in Madison, the Trail has long been a presence in her life, since before she was even aware of it. “I’ve done sections before, but without really thinking about the fact that it was Ice Age Trail, it was just, you know, a trail to hike on.” Continue reading

Welcome Claire Finucane as our new Property Steward!

Claire Finucane, Property Steward
Property Steward Claire Finucane
I am excited to start my journey as the Property Steward for the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Growing up in the Madison area afforded me countless weekends to enjoy the Ice Age Trail. The Gibraltar Rock Segment is a favorite: I can always count on a beautiful sunset view.

I grew up on a small hobby farm where I raised chickens, goats, and a pony. Our family spent a lot of time hiking, camping, skiing, and days on Rock Lake, immersed in and enjoying Wisconsin’s incredible scenery. You can still find me enjoying all four seasons: hiking, camping, swimming, hammocking, skiing, or kayaking.

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