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Prairie restoration turns to tornado recovery

An Iowa field crew, dispatched to the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas for a two-week prescribed burn, found itself in a storm shelter waiting out tornadoes and cleaning up the aftermath. Two tornados passed just north of the shelter on Saturday, April 14 but caused considerable damage to trees and power lines, leaving many refuge roads impassable. Crew leader Erik Lindsay led his six-person crew in clearing fallen and damaged cottonwood and locust trees from the refuge. The trees were not considered a loss, as the refuge is removing trees to restore native prairie. The refuge’s only bald eagle nest remained intact in a large cottonwood, but the fate of its inhabitants is uncertain. The crew included Lindsay Vincent, Iain Mason, Jordan Heiman, Matt Bernhardt, Theo Westhues and Tiffany Vincent.

Read more in The Wichita Eagle.