MPG North Field Note: Wildfire and Entrance Marsh Excavation

In July, a wildfire burned two acres of forest just north of Cooney Creek. The fire killed several conifer seedlings, but deciduous trees have already re-sprouted



Posted on 9/1/2017 by Beau Larkin

Habitat Types: 


A lightning strike started a wildfire north of Cooney Creek on July 12. The fire consumed all of the organic material in some areas but left other spots unburned.
The fire affected about two acres within the red polygon above. State and Federal fire crews responded and contained the fire by July 15th.
The fire scorched several deciduous trees. Above, the birch on the right looks dead but had already grown new suckers.
Heartwood rot in old cottonwood trees makes them prone to falling during wildfire. Fire crews cut two of the largest cottonwoods down due to safety concerns.
The fire scorched or killed 20 white pine seedlings. A few of the scorched ones could survive. Many seedlings escaped damage, even inside the fire perimeter (inset).
We began digging out cattails and soil in Entrance Marsh last week. This winter, the new pond will begin to fill, and next spring, ducks will have a new place to swim and rear their young.
 The soft, mucky soil makes digging and pushing soil difficult. We have placed a number of lodgepole logs under the machinery to keep it from sinking.
 The light blue polygon shows a rough outline of the area we will excavate. Narrow peninsulas of cattails will remain to provide hiding cover for waterfowl.