Prescribed burning will delay flooding in Oakwood Bottoms - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Prescribed burning will delay flooding in Oakwood Bottoms

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As duck season draws near, the Shawnee National Forest has announced that some of the flooded timber units in the Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir will experience a delay in its yearly flooding.  This is due to a prescribed burn in the area along with work being done on the adjacent Big Muddy River Levee.

  This year, the Shawnee NF plans to have 3,000 acres flooded within Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir, including all Oakwood Bottoms management units except units 3, 7 and 21. 

With the arrival of the South-Central duck season on Nov 10th, approximately 2,000 acres will be flooded by that date, including units 4, 5, 9, 9North, 10, 10North, 11, 11North, 14, 17, 19, 20, 25 Otter Slough, 26 and 27. 

The remaining 1,000 acres of units, including units 1, 2, 6, 8, 8North, 12, 13, 15 and 16, will be at least 2 weeks delayed due to preparation for a prescribed burn in these units and work currently being done on the adjacent Big Muddy Levee system.

From a land management standpoint, it is vital that the Shawnee NF allow time to conduct a prescribed burn in this bottomland forest as this will create a more open forest understory and improve the overall conditions for oak regeneration and advancement for future generations.

Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the thick understory ash/maple growth and promote the growth of oaks to support wildlife in the future. 

Sustaining an oak/hickory bottomland forest in the future requires the use of an occasional prescribed fire. 

In the long term, this will improve Oakwood Bottoms and ensure that it remains rich in wildlife and continues to be a key stopover and wintering site for migratory waterfowl. 

For more information concerning Oakwood Bottoms, including access to flood maps and regulations, please visit the Shawnee National Forest website:

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