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NYS uses controlled burns to improve wildlife habitats: Are more needed?

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  • Staff Report 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) used “prescribed fire” to burn hundreds of acres this spring, improving wildlife habitats and reducing the risk of wildfires.


Forest rangers say that these controlled burns help manage invasive species and pests. Some New Yorkers want this practice expanded to private lands, as it can improve habitats for game animals like deer and turkey.

Currently, prescribed fires are mostly limited to state lands, with burns taking place in Steuben, Schuyler, Livingston, and Monroe counties. Wildlife and environmental experts with the state’s DEC and other agencies are constantly evaluating these seasonal efforts.