Skip to Main Content
Private-public collaboration to reintroduce fire into the changing ecosystems of the Southwestern Borderlands regionAuthor(s): Gerald J. Gottfried; Larry S. Allen; Peter L. Warren; Bill McDonald; Ronald J. Bemis; Carleton B. Edminster
Source: Fire Ecology Special Issue. 5(1): 85-99.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (382.09 KB)
DescriptionFires caused by lightning or Native Americans were the major ecological factor in the borderlands region of Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico prior to European settlement. Historical overgrazing and aggressive fire suppression have led to the encroachment of woody vegetation and accumulations of woody fuels in these grasslands. Ranchers associated with the Malpai Borderlands Group, state and federal land managers, and the staff of The Nature Conservancy agreed that re-introducing fire could improve landscape productivity and biological diversity. The ranching community was concerned that continued encroachment of woody plants would eventually affect its economic viability and result in the subdivision of ranches and the loss of its way of life. The parties in the borderlands group worked together to develop prescribed fire plans that have resulted in four landscape- level prescribed fires since 1995. They also developed a monitoring plan using established photo points, ground transects, aerial surveys, and remote sensing techniques to ascertain fire effects and to determine if modified procedures could be beneficial. The prescribed fires and results from the monitoring spurred research on wildlife habitat requirements, fire histories, fire behavior, the effects of cool or warm season burning on multiple resources, and interactions of livestock and wildlife grazing and fire. Information from prescribed fires such as those conducted by the borderlands group will become more important as anticipated changes in the region's climate and vegetation produce new challenges to ranchers and agency land managers.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationGottfried, Gerald J.; Allen, Larry S.; Warren, Peter L.; McDonald, Bill; Bemis, Ronald J.; Edminster, Carleton B. 2009. Private-public collaboration to reintroduce fire into the changing ecosystems of the Southwestern Borderlands region. Fire Ecology Special Issue. 5(1): 85-99.
KeywordsArizona, grasslands, New Mexico, private-public collaboration, reintroduction of fire, savannas, southwestern borderlands
- A plan for landscape fire restoration in the Southwestern Borderlands
- Ranch business planning and resource monitoring for rangeland sustainability
- Hillslope soil movement in the oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands Region
XML: View XML