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Fire Helps Natural Land In Maryland Stay Renewed

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Usually, when 70 acres of anything is on fire, alarms are sounded and cavalries are called, but back down a long dirt road called Bear Swamp, deep inside the Nassawango Creek Preserve — the state's largest privately owned natural area, made up of more than 10,000 acres of upland forest and bald cypress swamp — dozens of ecologists dressed in hardhats and yellow jumpsuits are as calm as can be, as they are actually the ones setting the blaze.

"Historically, wildfires used to sweep through this area periodically, and what's happened now is folks have moved in, we've created roads, subdivisions, Walmart's ," says Deborah Landau, a conservation ecologist for the Maryland-D.C. chapter of the nature conservancy.

Landau says that restorative or prescribed fires like this one basically reboot the land and kick-start new life.

"The heat pulse that comes through the ground that stimulates a lot of the native plants to germinate has really speeded up the ecological restoration of these natural areas," she says.

So even though one might equate fire with destruction, Landau says in this case, it's all about renewal.

WAMU 88.5

Barry Meier: "Missing Man"

Nine years ago, former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran while on a mission for the CIA. The story of his secret journey to Iran, the CIA cover-up that followed and efforts to rescue the longest-held U.S. hostage.

NPR

5,000-Year-Old Chinese Beer Recipe Revealed

Researchers discovered ancient "beer-making tool kits" in underground rooms built between 3400 and 2900 B.C. Analyses of funnels, pots and jugs show the brewers were using pretty advanced techniques.
WAMU 88.5

The Fight for D.C.'s Budget Freedom

Last week, a House committee with oversight of the District passed legislation that would block the ability of the Council to spend its own tax dollars.

WAMU 88.5

The U.S. Expands Ties To Vietnam

President Obama lifts the embargo against U.S. arms sales to Vietnam: Please join us to talk about what closer ties between the U.S. and Vietnam mean for trade, leverage on human rights and growing concerns over China's military expansion.

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