Prescribed burns planned for this spring

April 5th, 2021

Prior Lake, Minn. – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is planning prescribed burns this spring in several locations on SMSC lands listed below. The SMSC conducts prescribed burns on SMSC lands and, upon request and through mutual aid agreements, in neighboring jurisdictions each spring and fall as an effective land management tool.

SMSC location for this spring:

  • Mitigation prairie and wetlands located northeast of the junction of Dakotah Parkway and Wacipi Drive
  • Inyan Ceyaka Otonwe prairie and wetlands located southwest of the junction of Stemmer Ridge Road and Skuya Drive
  • Tollefson prairie located southeast of the junction of Eagle Creek Boulevard and County Road 21
  • Oak savanna located northeast of the junction of Mystic Lake Drive and 154th St Northwest
  • Dockendorf prairie located northwest of the junction of Marschall Road and County Road 72
  • Dakotah Parkway prairie located south of junction of Dakotah Parkway and Sioux Trail Northwest
  • Peterson prairie located northwest of the junction of County Road 42 and County Road 83

A prescribed burn is an intentionally lit, controlled fire used to replicate natural fire events. Before Europeans colonized this area, fires were sometimes started by lightening but many more times by Dakota and other Indigenous people. They burned areas for many reasons, but they were most commonly used to clear land for agriculture, to improve grazing and forage for game species like bison and to reduce brush in woodlands, which helped with easier travel.

Fire helps native plants in prairies, oak savannas and some wetlands stay healthy and vigorous. These plants provide excellent habitat for species, such as the meadowlark, dickcissel, monarch butterfly and other wildlife. Fire is also an excellent tool to reduce weeds and other invasive woody species that outcompete native plants for resources.

All prescribed burns are designed to meet ecological objectives and are entirely dependent upon weather conditions, such as relative humidity, temperature, and wind speed and direction. Exact dates of the burns will be announced on the SMSC’s Twitter account.

The SMSC wildland fire program coordinates with neighboring entities, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other state and federal agencies to lead and assist with prescribed burns within the region. During prescribed burns, trained burn crew members monitor weather conditions to protect air quality and road visibility to minimize potential impacts to neighboring communities.

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Dakota tribal government located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Following a Dakota tradition of generosity, the SMSC is one of the top philanthropists in Minnesota and is the largest contributor to other tribal governments and causes across the country. It is a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources. The SMSC’s government, Gaming Enterprise and various other enterprises are collectively the largest employer in Scott County and attract millions of visitors to the region.

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Learn More About the SMSC

Read about our people or visit our frequently asked questions for additional information about the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

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Jennifer Hellman