Outdoors

Group says Minnesota's Native Prairies Are 'as Rare and Worthy of Saving as the Amazon'

A native prairie in Minnesota, cared for by the local chapter of the Prairie Enthusiasts.

Evanne Hunt wears a yellow protective suit while she carefully watches a fire burn a strip of the native prairie she’s volunteered to protect over the past 25 years. Hunt, the chairperson of the local chapter of the Prairie Enthusiasts, says prescribed burns of prairie remnants are key to the survival of native plants and ecosystems.

“We have to go out and burn to keep the brush down,” Hunt says, adding native prairies are fire-dependent ecosystems. “A prairie can’t last without fire and maintenance. It’s impossible for a native prairie remnant to exist without help anymore.”

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