June 1, 2022
This photo station looks north over the Haines Branch Creek and into the pasture known as "The Eighty" on the left, as well as the primary grazing pasture of the Pioneers Park Nature Center bison herd to the right. This site was interseeded with a specially designed mix of local ecotype tallgrass prairie seed in early spring of 2017 and burned by prescribed fire in May of 2022. Prescribed fire is a management technique that mimics the natural wildfires common to the plains, as well as those used by Indigenous tribes to manage buffalo herds. Tallgrass prairie plants are adapted to thrive under fire conditions and fire prevents invasion of woody vegetation which will eventually outcompete native prairie if left uncontrolled. In the forground of the photo is a small saline wetland seep. The Eastern Saline Wetlands are the most limited wetland type and vegetation community in the State and are considered critically imperilled in Nebraska.