Louisiana Conservation Success Stories

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Enon-Sehoy Plantation Uses Prescribed Fire to Improve Quail and Red-cockaded Woodpecker Habitat

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Enon-Sehoy Plantation, located in the Alabama Upper Coastal Plains, is a recreational, quail hunting property renowned for its open-story pine trees and diverse wildlife. The 27,500 acre, privately-owned property contains widely spaced longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly, and slash pine forests (basal area of 15-60 square feet per acre) with diverse understory grasses and forbs, such as bluestem, switchgrass, and the federally endangered American chaffseed. The forests and understory vegetation support abundant wildlife, including deer, turkey, and quail, as well as the threatened Bachman’s sparrow and the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Within four years, the property’s red-cockaded woodpecker population grew from just 3 clusters to 29 potential breeding groups.

 

Creating a Fire Resilient Landscape in the Pisgah National Forest

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On July 14, 2015, a lightning strike ignited a wildfire on Bald Knob in the Grandfather Ranger District (GRD) of the Pisgah National Forest. Only 30 miles outside of Asheville, North Carolina and on rugged terrain difficult to access, the wildfire may have posed greater threat had it not been adjacent to areas containing recent fuel treatments (prescribed fire) and wildfires. These treatments, as part of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), reduced fire fuel loads in the forest and enabled the Bald Knob fire to safely burn while protecting firefighters, local residents, structures, power line corridors, communication towers, and Forest Service property and surrounding land. Fuel treatments positively influenced the fire’s spread and allowed firefighting efforts to truly focus on protection of private properties. The inaccessible terrain as well as the confine and contain strategy allowed ample time to keep the effected community well informed of current fire behavior, smoke impacts and management plans for the fire.

 

Prescribed Fire Program Reduces Wildfire Severity

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Over four long days in late March 2011, the most severe wildfire outbreak in a decade occurred at Eglin Air Force Base, located near Destin, Florida (Fig. 1). A persistent drought, 20 mph winds and low humidity, combined with 12-15 arson fires on the property, resulted in 6,000 acres burned in a matter of days. Due to Eglin’s aggressive prescribed fire program, the March 2011 wildfire severity and acres burned were significantly reduced. Without this regular fuel reduction, anywhere from 10-12,000 acres could have burned just on the Eglin side, with untold acres burned and property damaged north of Interstate 10.

 

Georgia State Park Restores Important Pine-Oak Forest Community with Prescribed Fire

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Tallulah Gorge State Park and the town of Tallulah Falls, Georgia are surrounded by a unique, fire-adapted forest community that, without low-intensity fire management, would gradually disappear. Restoration efforts are currently underway tore-establish this forest community with prescribed fire and mechanical treatments.

 

Florida Partnership Enables Landscape-Level Prescribed Burn

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On March 2, 2018, a large prescribed burn occurred at the Yellow River Water Management Area in Santa Rosa County, Florida, which is managed by the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Weather and atmospheric conditions were ideal and resources were available for the Florida Forest Service to approve the burn permit. Aerial ignition via helicopter started the fire systematically across the landscape. Ground firing and monitoring crews, consisting of 15 personnel were stationed at the tract perimeter as ground support during the burn.