Volunteer pasture burning co-op would put more help on grassfires
In Anderson County, southeast of here, efforts are under way by area cattlemen to organize a pasture burning cooperative consisting of trained volunteers.
It sounds like a great idea.
Anderson County’s Extension office personnel has offered to provide the training for those who need it.
The idea is to have area landowners, area cattlemen, area farmers, and/or pasture managers, all trained in pasture burning to join the cooperative there and agree to contribute their time and pasture burning expertise to help others in the cooperative when burning off their pastures.
In return, the cooperative member receives the same assistance from the other trained members in the cooperative when it’s time to burn off their own pastures.
Similar cooperatives have been formed and are operating successfully in other parts of Kansas, it is reported.
Most are establishing their own rules and bylaws with the assistance of Extension and forestry officials.
If area landowners, cattlemen and pasture managers have some help burning off their grassland during the late February and March burning season, it stands to reason that more will do so on a more regular basis.
All volunteers in the cooperative will benefit from safer burns designed to control invasive species that diminish grasslands and adversely affects the local grazing of cattle.
It usually takes some extra hands to successfully control pasture burns and to further reduce the chance of injury or damage to equipment, vehicles or neighboring properties.
A controlled pasture burn is a beautiful thing with the right weather conditions and plenty of helpers.
So far in Anderson County, about 15 interested individuals have signed up, enough to get the pasture burning cooperative going. It does not take a large group to be successful, but it does take a core group that is committed to the effort.
Every spring, it seems, there are a large number of controlled pasture burns in our area that get out of control for various reasons and ultimately require the assistance of rural fire departments.
A volunteer pasture burning cooperative here could be a good idea - to take a lot of hard work out of the burning and actually make it more enjoyable - if enough local people are interested.