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Two Case Histories For Using Prescribed Fire to Restore Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems in Northern ArizonaAuthor(s): Stephen S. Sackett; Sally M. Haase
Source: In: Teresa L. Pruden and Leonard A. Brennan (eds.). Fire in ecosystem management: shifting the paradigm from suppression to prescription. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 20. Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings No. 20: pp. 380-389
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionHistoric observations and research indicate that the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) ecosystem in the southwestern U.S. is now very different compared to pre-European settlement. Timber harvest, livestock grazing, and fire suppression have transformed an open ponderosa pine-bunch grass community into a dense forest overloaded with flammable organic material, which increases the likelihood of devastating wildfire. Prescribed fire research during the past 20 years has demonstrated the benefits and potential problems with reestablishing burning techniques into one of the most fire-dependent ecosystems in the U.S. Two case histories in northern Arizona illustrate that using prescribed fire on a frequent basis has transformed a dense, stagnated ponderosa pine site into one that now has adequate natural regeneration, manageable fuel levels, increased vertical fuel heights, substantially higher nutrient levels, and a variety of other attributes that are similar to presettlement conditions. This long-term research has shown the importance of fire as a natural agent in the perpetuation of this important forest species.
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CitationSackett, Stephen S., and Sally M. Haase. 1998. Two case histories for using prescribed fire to restore ponderosa pine ecosystems in northern Arizona. In: Teresa L. Pruden and Leonard A. Brennan (eds.). Fire in ecosystem management: shifting the paradigm from suppression to prescription. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 20. Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings No 20: pp. 380-389.
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