TVA Controlled Burn At Native Plant Garden To Remove Privet

By  | January 10, 2020 | Filed under: News

MUSCLE SHOALS-On Thursday, January 9 TVA held a controlled burn at the Native Plant Garden on the TVA trail in Muscle Shoals.  The burn was held to clear the privet.

According to Senior Program Manager /Natural Resource for West Operation, Damien Simbeck told QCDNews that this time of the year is best for removing privet by fire.  He said the native plants are not yet up and the privet is beginning to germinate and this is the best time to get rid of the invasive privet without damaging the native plants.

The trails were close for about 30 minutes as Damien and his time lit small fires along the areas where the privet and underbrush were the most troublesome.

Simbeck explains. “I specify where and how much we want to burn, where the fire breaks are located, what wind speed and direction we want, and what relative humidity is preferred. We watch the weather closely and estimate when we can burn—then have to be set up to go at a moment’s notice.”

That’s a lot of work, but it offers big benefits: “Prescribed fire is a management tool TVA uses to keep fields of grasses by burning off woody growth—TVA manages approximately 293,000 acres of land, but we don’t want them to be ALL forest. Burning for the health of the land is a tool that’s been around long before Europeans arrived in North America. We’re just picking up where the Native Americans left off.”


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