Ranger and Burn Boss Colleen Bowers and staff at Carvers Creek State Park were recently awarded the 2018 Prescribed Burning Award from the Division of Parks and Recreation. The award recognizes a team for significant contributions in the implementation and promotion of prescribed fire as a natural resource management tool. In layman’s terms, the team went “all in” on prescribed fire.
One of the newest additions to the state parks system, Carvers Creek opened in 2013 and quickly became a leader in prescribed fire management. Observing several wildfires within the Sandhills region near the park, Carvers Creek staff prioritized prescribed fire as a resource management tool. Under the leadership of Superintendent Jane Conolly, the park heavily invested in fire equipment, personnel training, and dedicated the staff time required to meet the fire management needs of the property.
Soon after getting up and running, the park was featured on a UNC-TV segment about the restorative properties of prescribed fire. Remarkably, the staff have achieved the target burn of 1/3 of the park property, or 1,200 acres of their fire adapted landscape in the past year.
Ranger Bowers extends her thanks to Thomas Crate, Jimmy Dodson, Michael Taylor and the Carvers Creek maintenance team, Jessica Schliebener, and Superintendent Jane Conolly for their contributions and support of the program.