4/3/2013 12:41 PM
by Rebecca Turco
SANDSTONE - The National Park Service (NPS) conducted a prescribed burn Wednesday near the New River Gorge National River's Sandstone Visitor Center.
A grassy section of about five acres on a hillside in front of the visitor center burned. The goal of the prescribed burn is to discourage tree growth in the field areas and to encourage growth of native grasses, while also maintaining native plants, according to NPS officials.
"Fire is a tool and [we] manipulate the landscape with that," explained Fire Management Officer Peggy Ainslie of the New River Gorge branch of the NPS. "We use the best science practices that we can. We've got photo points set up to monitor what's happening with the vegetation over time," Ainslie said.
NPS conducts this burn once a year.