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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Collaborative landscape-scale fire restoration management and planning in the Boston Mountains, Arkansas
Year: 2010
Author(s): Anderson, M., Andre, J., Zollner, D., Witsell, T.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 69
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Collaborative fire management restoration depends upon landscape managers finding common ground in their understanding of ecosystem structure and function and desired ecological conditions. The Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, The Nature Conservancy, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, private landowners, and others are collaborating to restore oak-hickory and oak-pine ecosystems in the Boston Mountains, which have been degraded from past timber management and fire exclusion activities. There are substantially more closed-canopy forest and less woodland/savanna today than occurred under the regionís historic fire regime, in which low-intensity fire burned these systems about every 2-15 years. Plant and animal species, such as the royal catchfly, northern bobwhite, Bachmanís sparrow, Diana fritillary, Indiana bat, and elk, are adapted to the vegetation mosaic that this frequent fire regime maintained. This collaboration faces other challenges as well: red oak decline has impacted at least 300,000 acres of Ozark National Forest, including the Big Piney Ranger District and intermixed private property, increasing hazardous fuels in the wildland-urban interface and threatening municipal water supplies. The Big Piney Ranger District and many partners are implementing a long-term, landscape-scale ecosystem restoration project on 60,000 acres to increase forest health, restore fire-dependent woodland ecosystems, protect municipal water sources, and promote safety in the wildland-urban interface using periodic prescribed fire and forest thinning by commercial and non-commercial methods. A monitoring program is currently being implemented to track changes towards desired ecological conditions that were described using an ecological classification system.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper