Grand River burn planned to remove invasive plants

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State officials are planning a series of fires on two islands in the Grand River in Ottawa County to get rid of an invasive, reedy plant called phragmites.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it will conduct the prescribed burn in Spring Lake Township this summer or early this fall, when conditions are favorable.

The coverage area will include 15 sites ranging in size from one-eighth of an acre to two acres.

DNR biologist Nick Kalejs says phragmites control is important for the health of wetlands and many wildlife species. Phragmites competes with native vegetation and produces thick stands with little value to wildlife.

Thus far in 2014, the DNR has completed 102 prescribed burns on 10,287 acres.