Fire! It’s not always a bad thing


Friday, August 8 2008

            Though I’m still reeling with joy from Goat Mountain, today’s State Fair visit was strictly educational.

My first stop for the day was “Fire! How the DNR Uses Fire as a Tool.”

In searching for the program, I stumbled upon Rule No. 1 of State Fair-going: Be flexible, because things may change on a whim. The schedule originally listed the program on the Front Porch, but the “Mystery of Coal” had staked out a spot and “Fire!” was nowhere to be found.

Eventually I found “Fire!” at the DNR Amphitheater and still got to learn about fire as a management tool. Bev Stout and Donna Rogler of the DNR Division of Forestry Division showed off a number of tools needed in using fire to get rid of some serious arboreal eyesores in Indiana. This may sound like a dangerous solution, but Bev and Donna assured the crowd that a number of qualifications must be met before anything is burned, and that plenty of warning is given to surrounding areas far in advance.

To learn more about the Division of Forestry, you can stop by its booth in the Natural Resources Building. And if fire safety is your thing, make it your business not to miss Smokey Bear’s Birthday Party at 1 p.m. Sunday on the Front Porch.

            The Indiana Land Protection Alliance set up camp on the Front Porch on Friday afternoon to talk about land trusts in Indiana. I spoke with Maria Steiner of Central Indiana Land Trust, who explained that the goal is to preserve our Hoosier heritage by acting as a nonprofit conservation organization concerned with protecting natural areas from being bought by developers. To demonstrate how important these natural areas are, the ILPA brought out a number of amphibians, including snakes, turtles, frogs and salamanders.

This is just another example of the things the DNR is looking to inform people about our beautiful state. If you’d like to learn more about topics affecting Indiana, stop by the NRB today or any day during the State Fair!

— Katy



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