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Prescribed Burns – What They Might Mean for Laikipia

For years, the Mpala Research Center has hosted a long-term study on rangelands ecology, and the interface between soils, grasses and their consumption by both wildlife and livestock. The KLEE Project (Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment) is located on Mpala Ranch.


The work occurs mostly on “black cotton soil” dominated by the tree Acacia drepanolobium (Whistling Thorn) and a grassy understory community of more than 100 plant species. The experiment tests different land uses (wildlife conservancy, wildlife-tolerant ranching, wildlife-intolerant ranching) to see what the effects of these different land uses mean for the environment and how these are changing over time, land use, and in the face of climate change.

Want to learn more? Check out KLEE and Dr. Truman Young at https://tpyoung.ucdavis.edu/klee

One of the treatments in this experiment has been the use of fire. As this year will yield an abundance of grass growth, we will be confronted by the possibility of fire – both as a threat, and a tool for management of our rangelands.

Here is a link to an on-line course that consolidates a lot of the experience and literature on prescribed burns. You can learn at your own pace, but unfortunately, the course cost is USD $200.



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