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Increase of Trees in the Loess Hills (Scott Moats, Preservationist)

Scott Moats is the Director of Stewardship and Preserve Manager at Broken Kettle Grasslands just north of Sioux City. He speaks of some hotly debated topics. How will Iowa prioritize the state's energy needs? Hear from the agency in charge of taking us into the future.

Transcript: Increase of Trees in the Loess Hills

Probably lack of fire is the predominant reason why we have more trees now than we did 40, 50 or even 100 years ago. Again, fires were suppressed. There was a culture when people first settled this area that fires were beneficial and the landowners actually burned. And now they've kind of gotten away from that and we've had a huge explosion of trees. And there is an argument that that's natural succession, but again, in a natural situation without human intervention, fire would have still been prevalent and we wouldn't have these trees. So, now what we're doing is trying to manage these grasslands for what we perceive the grasslands should look like and also for the economic benefit. If we let this area go and it grows up to trees and nothing but trees and weeds, there's not going to be any economic value or benefit of grazing even. There's just not going to be enough grass out here. So, if we can keep it open and keep the grass flourishing and doing well then it will be sustainable for grazing as well.

Tags: Energy/Environment Explore More farming geography geology land use landscapes Scott Moats viewpoints Working Landscapes




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