Concord airport prescribed burning to aid Karner blue butterfly

  • Areas where 2019 prescribed burning will happen around Concord airport. Courtesy—NH Fish and Game

Monitor staff
Published: 4/4/2019 12:42:48 PM

Prescribed burning will be returning to the Concord airport soon, part of continuing efforts to maintain the health of the Concord pine barrens and associated species, including the state butterfly, the Karner blue.

Officials with the state and the New Hampshire Army National Guard say the spring burn could occur as early as April 10 or as late as May 15, depending on weather.

“Planning and preparation are a large part of prescribed burning,” said Heidi Holman, a nongame biologist for NH Fish and Game who oversees the project.

The burning is designed to protect the Concord pine barrens, an ecosystem with sandy or acidic soil that supports plants, such as wild lupine, that thrive after fires come through an area. These plants in turn support several endangered or rare species. Such prescribed burning has happened here for a half-dozen years.

In 2009, New Hampshire became the first state in New England to establish a Prescribed Fire Council, a government-sanctioned group that establishes best practices for these deliberate fires, and helps groups identify areas that can benefit from them.

The prescribed burn will take place within the Conservation Zones on the Concord Municipal Airport (see map, above right). It is allowed under a state-issued burn permit, which also serves as a smoke management permit (RSA 227-L17).

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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