Prescribed fire is generally considered the most cost effective and ecologically sound management tool for landowners with an interest in wildlife and biodiversity. However, for most landowners the use of prescribed fire is much easier said than done. Most landowners lack the training and experience to safely and effectively conduct burns. To overcome these challenges staff from the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, MS and staff from the MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks partnered with private landowners in North MS to plan and conduct burns for habitat management. With the help of several dedicated landowners, the Coldwater Prescribed Burn Association was formed to facilitate burning on private lands. The Association received its non-profit status and hosted a burn school in 2011 to train members. A TogetherGreen grant was be used to build association resources and outreach capacity. Bobwhite Quail, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Dickcissel are a few of the birds that particularly benefit form fire.
The mission of the Association is to increase the occurrence of burning on public and private lands to restore ecological function, enhance wildlife and plant communities, and reduce hazardous forest or grassland fuel loads.