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    Author(s): Merrill R. Kaufmann; Ayn Shlisky; Marchand; Peter
    Date: 2005
    Source: Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 16 p.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.7 MB)


    The first rule of tinkering is to save all the parts, according to forester, philosopher, and hunter Aldo Leopold. Leopold was thinking about wildfire 50 years ago when he also was questioning his own role in exterminating large predators, wondering how their removal might affect forest ecosystems in the future. Leopold was well ahead of his contemporaries in ecological thought. Like predators, fire cleans and regenerates the systems it touches. A generation later, we're seeing the dramatic consequences of excluding fire from fire-adapted ecosystems. This brochure discusses what you can do:

    Get involved in a community-based conservation group working on local landscape restoration projects.

    Educate yourself about the role of fire in your local ecosystems.

    Provide feedback on National Forest, BLM, or other agency land management plans.

    Consult with regional experts or The Nature Conservancy on how to safely reintroduce fire to your ranch or land holding.

    Participate in local Firewise workshops to learn how to treat fuels around your home and create defensible space (

    Start simply. But start.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Kaufmann, Merrill R.; Shlisky, Ayn; Marchand; Peter. 2005. Good fire, bad fire: how to think about forest land management and ecological processes. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 16 p.


    fire, forest land management, forest ecosystems, fire-adapted ecosystems

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