The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management and Florida State University worked together to develop Burning Issues, an interactive multimedia program designed to help secondary school students (grades 6-12) learn about the role of fire in ecosystems and wildland fire management. Burning Issues provides opportunities to learn about prescribed burns, wildland fire suppression, the relationship between fire and invasive plants and fire-wise community planning concepts. Through the CD-Rom, users take a virtual tour of the National Itneragency Fire Center and explore fire management issues in a southern pine ecosystem, the shrub-steppe ecosystem of Idaho, a ponderosa pine forest in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the chaparral in America's southwest. Version 2 of the CD-Rom is almost complete.
A partnership was also established with Project Learning Tree, one of the nation's oldest environmental education organizations, for distribution of the materials and educator training. Project Learning Tree's Forest Ecology curriculum and their role as a clearing house for other environmental curricula extend the learning opportunities provided by Burning Issues. Hundreds of educators are now using these materials in classrooms across the country. An emphasis on national science and social science education standards, combined with highly engaging subject matter has made Burning Issues very successful.
Land management agencies involved in educating their surrounding communities about fire management are also significant stakeholders in the implementation of the Burning Issues program.