Nebraska Forest Service



Published by the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln cooperating with the Counties and the u.s. Department of Agriculture.© The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. All rights reserved


The interacting forces of climate, fire and grazing formed and maintained the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America. Native Americans were the first to use fire to manipulate plant communities primarily to attract bison to lush regrowth. With the arrival of Europeans, the deliberate setting of fire was greatly curtailed because of the loss of property and potential loss of life associated with wildfires. Today, land managers realize that fire or prescribed burning is an effective tool to manage grassland