Prescribed burns were conducted in 2675 acres (12 individual burn units) in the Hidden Springs and Vienna Ranger District of the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. The prescribed burning program was conducted with the goal of improving wildlife habitat and timber stand condition. Stand condition was monitored from 2004 through 2009 (2013 in two sites) to assess the success in reducing the abundance of undesirable shade tolerant mesic species and increase regeneration of desirable shade intolerant taxa. The results of analyzing data from the monitoring program are reported here from 13 of 23 permanent monitoring plots. Over the first five years of this program the stands are generally increasing in basal area and decreasing in tree density as expected through normal stand maturation. There are indications that the prescribed burning program has been successful in some sites through a reduction in maples and an increase in oaks and hickories, an increase in the herb and shrub layer species richness, and a decrease in the exotic Japanese honeysuckle. The success of prescribed burning as a management tool is site-specific, varying across the landscape, and likely reflecting historical contingency. Continued monitoring of these sites is necessary; analysis of data from additional permanent plots is recommended as is improved intensity of the prescribed burns to enhance efficacy of the management treatment.