Near Hot Springs in Fall River County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Fire on the Edge
Where the Prairie Meets the Forest
You are Standing in the Middle of a Community Meeting!
This area is the meeting place of three distinct plant communities ~ The ponderosa pine woodland, the mixed grass prairie, and the Cascade warm springs ecosystem.. Their boundaries constantly shift due to fire, grazing, and weather events.
The Fire Factor
During the last century, wildfires have become less frequent and more intense in this area, and pine trees have crept out onto the prairie. The reduction in wildfires has resulted from:
Fire suppression efforts beginning in the early 1900s.
Livestock grazing that removed grasses that spread fires.
Road and fence construction that broke up the spread of fire.
The Flagpole Fire of 2000 Shifted Boundaries
In August 2000, lightning started a wildfire about 3 miles southeast of here that eventually consumed 7,286 acres. As a result, the pine community will shift again, this time in favor of the prairie. Already, grasses and small shrubs are migrating into areas that were occupied by ponderosa pine and Rocky Mountain juniper.
The forest and prairie will continue their dance with each other over time, changing places, shifting positions, and responding to the dynamics of nature.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is located at Casscade Springs wayside park. Marker is in this post office area: Hot Springs SD 57747, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, SD (approx. 7 miles away); Hot Springs, SD (approx. 7½ miles away); Leslie Jensen Scenic Drive (approx. 8.1 miles away); Fall River Falls (approx. 8.6 miles away).
Categories. • Environment • Horticulture & Forestry • Parks & Recreational Areas •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 22, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 21, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 71 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 21, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.