Mayor Craig A. Moe has advised that
personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with
the National Park Service and Americorps will be conducting controlled
burns at the Patuxent Research Refuge from February 28 – April 15, 2009.
Mayor Moe would like the residents to know that this could result
in the smell of smoke or people could see smoke in the area of Laurel
if the winds push it towards the City limits of Laurel.
Mayor Moe has been informed that prescribed burns are authorized
under the Patuxent Research Refuge’s Prescribed Fire Plan which was
approved by the Fish and Wildlife Service officials in 2007.
Prescribed burns are used to reduce flammable vegetation that
could pose hazards to visitor and local communities if they were to
burn out of control. They can also be an appropriate tool to manage
wildlife habitats. It helps control undesirable exotic plants,
maintains grassland habitat for nesting birds and small mammals,
promotes wild flowers and other native plants, reduces the accumulation
of organic debris and releases nutrients back in to the soil.
Due to the controlled burns at the North Tract portion of the
refuge located off of Route 198 and the B/W Parkway, the refuge may
have to close some of the roads to the public located on refuge
Mayor Moe asks that if you plan to visit the Patuxent Research
Refuge, he would recommend that you call in advance to check for
possible closures before coming to the North Tract of the refuge on
weekends. They can be reached at 301-776-3090.