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Landscape-scale fire restoration on the big piney ranger district in the Ozark highlands of ArkansasAuthor(s): John Andre; McRee Anderson; Douglas Zollner; Marie Melnechuk; Theo Witsell
Source: In: Hutchinson, Todd F., ed. Proceedings of the 3rd fire in eastern oak forests conference; 2008 May 20-22; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-46. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 126-132.
Publication Series: Other
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionThe Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas Forestry Commission, private landowners, and others are currently engaged in a collaborative project to restore the oak-hickory and pine-oak ecosystems of the Ozark Highlands on 60,000 acres of the Big Piney Ranger District. Frequent historical fires and native grazers (e.g., elk and bison) maintained an open canopy of woodlands and savannas, where oaks, hickories, and shortleaf pine dominated. Today, these former woodlands now contain "forest-like" closed canopies (dominated by oak-hickory, oak-shortleaf pine, and shortleaf pine) caused by changes in land-use practices, including fire suppression, domestic livestock grazing, and silviculture. Historic records indicate that pre-European settlement Ozark woodlands averaged 38-76 trees per acre. Current densities average 300-1,000 stems per acre. Oak decline and the red oak borer have affected at least 300,000 acres of the Ozark National Forest and about 1.5 million acres of the Ozark Highlands. The Big Piney Ranger District is implementing a long-term, landscape-scale ecosystem restoration project in a TNC conservation priority area.
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CitationAndre, John; Anderson, McRee; Zollner, Douglas; Melnechuk, Marie; Witsell, Theo. 2009. Landscape-scale fire restoration on the big piney ranger district in the Ozark highlands of Arkansas. In: Hutchinson, Todd F., ed. Proceedings of the 3rd fire in eastern oak forests conference; 2008 May 20-22; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-46. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 126-132.
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