5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Monday, 17 November 2003
Adaptive Fire Management, Applied Fire Ecology, and Fire Monitoring on the National Wildlife Refuges in the Southwest U.S. Region 2
Mark Kaib, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, NM; and J. Whitney
Region 2 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service encompasses the National Wildlife Refuges and Fish Hatcheries in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Fire has long played a historical and ecological role in this diverse region from the Sonoran Desert grasslands to the Oklahoma prairies down to the coastal marshlands of Texas. The region has allowed fire, natural and prescribed to take its ecological place in habitat and ecosystem management since the 1950s. The region burned over 140 thousand acres over the last two years, making great strides in applying scientific research and monitoring data to better accomplish our ecological and management objectives. This poster highlights a few of our success stories that have been collaborative efforts between Refuge staff, fire managers, and fire science researchers.

Research and consultation by Dr. Jim Grace and others at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, LA has greatly helped improve our use of fire to enhance the threatened coastal prairies of Texas and to better manage invasive woody species. A suite of fire ecology research projects conducted by the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Station based at the Sevilleta Refuge in New Mexico are helping guide our prescribed burns in the Southwest, to foster native desert grasslands for antelope and big horn sheep habitat. Dr. Courtney Conway and his colleagues at the USGS Arizona Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit in Tucson have helped direct our prescribed burn program in cattail marshes on the Colorado River Refuges, to enhance Threatened and Endangered Rail populations, habitat, and to encourage the reoccupation of these historical nesting grounds. We are expanding fire effects and ecology research and our fire and fuel monitoring program, to support an adaptive fire management program that improves our regions ability to better accomplish fire, wildlife habitat, and resource management objectives.

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