Burning of the Baker Wetlands

By Richard Gwin · April 5, 2012 · Comment on this

Dr. Roger Boyd of Baker University, along with volunteers, participated in a controlled burn of the Baker Wetlands, Thursday April 5, 2012. The burn took place south of Lawrence, and is conducted annually to clear old grass, eliminate weeds and promote new growth.


Carol Bowen 3 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone else suffer health problems when they burn the wetlands? Days of nausea, headaches, and sinus problems?

1029 3 years, 6 months ago

Isn't there any way they could use that grass to build huts for the homeless?

Chris Golledge 3 years, 6 months ago

Serious? I suspect that if that were in any way practical, the homeless would have started doing it already. It's not like they asked permission to build shelters under the bridge or anything before.

Neomarxist123 3 years, 6 months ago

So we can burn it to the ground, but we can't take a less-than-one-percent swath for a much-needed road?

Loretta James 3 years, 5 months ago

what about the frogs that are suppose to be there

mdlund0 3 years, 6 months ago

Why would taking a less-than-one-percent swath of former farm-land that has been temporarily converted into wetlands for a much needed road be a problem?

Greg Cooper 3 years, 6 months ago

I find it quite humorous that the wetlands (natural, right?) need human intervention to exist as the humans want them to. Is there some disparity there? Is natural dependant on unnatural human intervention? Do the "endangered" newts agree with this annual conflagration?

At what point do we say, "Enough"? The new wetlands are bigger, provide more area for animal and plant diversity than the current ones, provide an educational center, and are not in the way of the SLT.

Git 'er done.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually, the entire Lawrence area was mostly prairie before the Europeans settled here. It was kept clear of trees by grass fires that used to burn uncontrolled over wide areas. Once the settlers started controlling the fires, the ecology changed dramatically. So, ironically, an area that is intended to maintain an ecology little influenced by modern civilization has to be intentionally burned from time to time in order to simulate the conditions before we removed fire from the equation.

But yeah, build the trafficway already.

Neomarxist123 3 years, 6 months ago

That's actually very informative. For the 1st time in 10 years, I learned something by reading this forum.

Here's to 2022 - should be good year to read the forums.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

@ Neomarxist123- Burning the prairie grass is a method that has been used by farmers and park rangers alike for many, many years. It is a way to put the nutrients back in the soil, control obnoxious, woody plants, and clear the way for new growth. It has been proven by environmental scientists to be beneficial to the wildlife in the long run. It also prevents wildfires. Read this excellent article if you would like sources: http://blog.nature.org/2009/09/controlled-burning-is-it-worth-it/.

grimpeur 3 years, 6 months ago

Yea, build it already.

South of the river, as originally planned. It's more important now to think of the southern UGA, all the way to 458. Coulda been done years ago but for the peculiar and still unrationalized insistence on the 32nd St. alignment.

Ricky_Vaughn 3 years, 6 months ago

So natural...I'm sure all the animals love it when the place goes up in flames.

George_Braziller 3 years, 6 months ago

It's no different than the annual burning that takes place every year in the Flint Hills.

vegieman 3 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, they built a highway there and the hills did not fall down, the grass lands did not dissapear, all is co-habitating. It's all good.

FriendlyFire 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow. I'm thoroughly surprised by how many people don't know about the biological need for burns. It is a natural occurrence that was often prompted by lightening strikes before we moved in and altered the environment. The animals adapt and return once the fire clears. They're not 'killing' anything. If you've seen a prairie ecosystem grow back after a burn you'd realize this. The wetlands are part of this ecosystem.



DillonBarnes 3 years, 6 months ago

Some people are so eager to criticize, they never stop to actually think.

Ironic name.

vegieman 3 years, 6 months ago

Building the SLT Bypass will destroy all the prehistoric frogs, but burning the grass only singes their hair and provides fresh cooked frog legs for the survivors to feast upon. It's All Good. One day we will be building the "Wetland's Casino" where they will be serving, fresh grilled prehistoric frog legs. Since that man made, pre-historic wasteland, ancient sacred burial ground (where they have never found any graves), is so precious to Baker U. Why don't they dig it all up and move it to Baldwin, say the old Baldwin lake, south of town.

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