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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are in year 3 of owning and clearing property. I still have burn piles in the back property that will be burnt in the spring. My thoughts keep going to all the frogs, salamanders, and garter snakes and other critters that have made homes in there. They are important to our little ecosystem(which seems to be well balanced as we have lots of water/ponds but very little mosquitos) They are big piles that can't be moved easily. Does anyone have suggestions for clearing them out of the piles before burning?
 

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First, define "piles". What kind of piles? Wood and organic material? Those can rot over time, and you can help it by adding leaves and keeping the piles moist. GREAT way to start a garden! You can burn it, but why waste all that goodness? Have patience, and the dirt will come!

Garbage or mixed? Sorry, this is a sore subject of mine (very, very sore subject), but burning garbage, regardless of common local practices, is prohibited federally. The question would then become "how do I haul all this stuff off with minimal impact on the critters that call it home?" For that, I would say do any moving or disturbance in July or early August.

In the end, though, it is unfortunately about minimizing impact, not eliminating it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is all wood, logs and branches that were fallen about 5 years ago by the previous owners. Leaving it to decompose where it is, isn't really an option as we want to clean the area up and put in some fruit trees and a small barn. You got me thinking about saving all that "goodness" though...so we are going to dig a big hole and put it in the ground. I will start pulling apart the piles and relocate any critters I find or become such a nuisance they leave on their own.
Last year we had a dry spell so we were relocating the tadpoles into our big pond. I guess it's just in me:)
 

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You can try "Hügelkutur", instead of digging a big hole, you can move the pile where you will eventually want new beds. Depending on how much soil you have, you might even be able to plant them this year! If not, add some soil and compost additions to the pile and watch it slowly rot. You can excavate a bit of soil where you want the piles to go, if you are desperate. Look it up online! It's amazing how much moisture wood can hold.
 
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