To all TPE members, leaders and friends,
As of today, both Illinois and Wisconsin have now issued statewide orders limiting travel and gatherings of all citizens outside of their homes to essential activities and jobs only. After a careful review of the Wisconsin order, we have concluded that we should immediately halt the current TPE burn season (in at least both of these two states) in order to do our part to help "flatten the curve" of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our most vulnerable community members. We recommend that our Minnesota members consider the same at this point, and certainly if similar orders are issued there.
This is a difficult decision because burning our prairies and savannas in the spring is such an important and compelling part of our work. However, we must also remember that the natural communities we protect, maintain and cherish are highly resilient, and will be waiting for us to care for them when this crisis passes. Right now working together to protect our human community is the most important priority.
I have heard from and seen that quite a few burns have already happened over the past week or so, and site stewards have been shifting priorities daily as the situation unfolds. My own experience at Mounds View Grassland on Sunday was that everyone was very aware of the need for great care and social distancing.
Please everyone stay healthy and safe!
President and Acting Executive Director
March 24, 2020
The Prairie Enthusiasts
2020 Minnesota Driftless Chapter burn