July 10, 2018:

Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge


Update: Registration closes Friday, July 6. Just a few spots remain.


The focus of this field tour is identifying fire effects which assist with meeting ecological objectives for local ecosystems (remnant prairies, reconstructed prairies, and wetlands). 


To share research, management tools, and experience which participants can apply to developing management objectives and prescribed burn plans.

To foster an active learning environment in which participants have an opportunity to learn from one another and share their own experiences, built on the understanding that each individual's experience, goals, and expectations inform decisions about how to apply prescribed fire to manage prairies and other fire-dependent ecosystems.

Presenters include: 

  • Ben Walker, wildlife biologist and inventory and monitoring biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Devan McGranahan, assistant professor of range science, North Dakota State University

Who should attend? 

The field day was developed by and for land managers, fire managers, and researchers.


We will start at 9:30 at nearby Rydell National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. Following brief introductory presentations, we will proceed to 3 field stops at Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge.

Located in northwest Minnesota, Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge sits near the intersection of the tallgrass prairie, oak savanna, and aspen parkland ecosystems. While topographic contrasts are minimal, sharp contrasts in soils and hydrology support a complex mosaic of plant communities and wildlife. This field tour will explore the role of fire in managing remnant prairies, reconstructed prairies, and wetlands at Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge. These sites are important in and of themselves, and also reflect regional issues, providing a significant opportunity to focus on the history and trajectory of one site to help inform management elsewhere.

Presentations at the field sites will address fire management for multiple objectives, patch burn grazing treatments, and multi-landowner collaboration. Specific topics include:

1) methods used in fire effects research and fire effects assessment

  • basic components of fire environment and sampling proxies
  • Grassland Monitoring Team protocols and adaptation to assessing units across Glacial Ridge NWR

 2) fire regime and fire effects on different species (competing objectives) 

  • fire regime - frequency, seasonality, intensity, spatial extent
  • fire effects on wildlife - intensity, spatial extent, unburned refugia

3) strengthening the art and science of prescribed fire

  • how we came to understand the role of fire in these ecosystems
  • how we apply our understanding to management,
  • how we assess how close we came to meeting objectives, and
  • how assessment feeds back into the other parts of the process

Sign up!

If you would like to participate, please pre-register using this form at www.tposfirescience.org/rxfire-management-decisions.

The event is free, but we ask that participants sign up ahead of time to help keep the group size small and support an active learning environment throughout the day. Registering will also allow us to contact you in the event we need to delay the event due to severe weather or other contingencies.

For questions or to request more information please email TPOS Coordinator Craig Maier.

Planning Team and Partners

Organizers include


  • Paul Charland, USFWS
  • Benjamin Walker, USFWS
  • Craig Maier, TPOS
  • Devan McGranahan, NDSU