Throughout history, grassland in the area of Beecher’s Prairies suffers great devastation due to tree encroachment. Over-population of trees in this area extinguished native species of plants, which became a problem for the natural ecosystem of the region. Most often, governments and organizations worldwide take actions towards the recovery of green ecosystems through animal removal, planting native species and fencing, where applicable. However, the example of Beecher’s Prairies is a not-so-known case of ecosystem recovery through the use of low-risk fires. Once introduced with expert supervision, these fires are meant to remove existing trees from the area, in order to allow native grassland to grow. This kind of approach is not, by all means, unusual to the authorities of the area. The same strategy has been used multiple times so far and has proven to be successful in restoring native grassland.
The Cariboo-Chilcotin Committee for Ecosystem Restoration
This program for ecosystem restoration is administered by the hand of provincial government and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Committee for Ecosystem Restoration. Every action that is taken during the implementation of this strategy is carefully supervised, in order to assure that the process goes according to plans, and not cause any unintentional damage to local population and the environment.
Beecher’s Prairies, an area located east of Riske Creek, will be a part of a regional restoration burn project in the beginning of 2016. The Bc Wildfire Service announced that they will burn up to 400 hectares of land on Beecher’s to prevent tree encroachment. This project is restore meant to native grassland ecosystems of the prairie, and it’s a part of a larger project for ecosystem restoration in the area.
Local authorities have been practicing the removal of trees through burn projects, to reduce encroachment of trees on natural grasslands for a long time now. During this project, authorities will introduce low-intensity ground fires into the area in order to prevent tree encroachment and allow native grassland to recover. The goal of this project is to restore and maintain the native, traditional grassland plant communities.
What endangered and eventually devastated natural grassland in the prairie, was an increase in forage area that was used for feeding livestock and to remove the risk of destructive wildfires.
Throughout the past, authorities in this area have used fires to prevent over-population of trees, which was intended to rejuvenate understory plant world and help to maintain the life of open grasslands, as well as forests with larger species of trees. This session is only one of the many that have taken place in the past. It has proven successful in restoring native plant world in the area, and similar action will most likely take place in the future. Without the organization’s initiative, the native species of plants that are characteristic to the area would probably have been long extinct by now. This and similar projects that will follow are meant to assure the survival of the Beecher Prairies ecosystem. Even though the area is not threatened by desertification, the preservation of its original plant world is still an important issue for the future of this ecosystem.