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    Prescribed Burn at the Sayville Unit of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge
    October 30, 2016 6:31 pm  
    Prescribed Burn at the Sayville Unit of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

    The U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, plans to conduct a controlled, prescribed burn between October 25 – November 30, 2016 at the Sayville Unit of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge.

    The Sayville Unit is the former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) site and is located in West Sayville on Cherry Avenue next to the Dog Park and Baymen Soccer Fields.  Actual dates will depend on weather conditions, favorable winds for smoke to rise and disperse, and the availability of trained wildland firefighters. The proposed burn unit is eight (8) acres and consists of warm season grasses, shrubs and woody vegetation.  Approximately 33 acres were successfully burned at the Sayville Unit in March 2016.  The use of prescribed fire is a vital part of the Unit’s habitat management program.

    The Sayville Unit is a unique maritime grassland community, which supports the largest population of the federally endangered sandplain gerardia (Agalinis acuta) in the State of New York.  The Unit also provides habitat for rare wildflowers, as well as butterflies and moths.  The objectives of the prescribed burn are to enhance habitat for sandplain gerardia; increase native warm season grasses and forbs; and reduce woody vegetation and non-native, invasive plants.   Anticipated results include healthier native plant growth and better habitat for migratory birds, pollinators and other wildlife.  A prescribed burn will also reduce the risks of future catastrophic wildfires by removing standing dead vegetation.

    Service staff have safely conducted prescribed burns in previous years to enhance and restore wildlife habitat, and control woody vegetation and invasive plants.  Fire breaks around the burn unit will prevent the fire from spreading on and off Service property.  This controlled burn will likely be completed within two (2) days or less.  Emergency personnel, including the local police and fire departments, will be notified prior to the prescribed burn to ensure public safety.  The U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service sincerely appreciates your cooperation and support in this effort.  For additional information, questions or concerns, please view the website http://www.fws.gov/refuge/sayville or contact the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex Office at 631-286-0485, Michelle Potter, Refuge Manager.

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.


    Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex                          Contact: Michelle Potter, Refuge Manager
    340 Smith Road                                                                               Phone:  631-286-0485
    Shirley, New York 11967                                                                  Fax:     631-286-4003

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