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This project consisted of two principal components: (1) A climatological analysis of burn conditions (2) A forum to discuss fire risk and management practices The climatological study included seasonality and inter-annual variability and potential changes due to increasing temperatures. The regional forum engaged stakeholders in a discussion of the use of prescribed fire in a safe and effective manner.
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Fire is a natural and necessary component of the South Central Plains ecosystem. However, fire suppression and more frequent droughts in the region have resulted in a build-up of dry fuels loads such as dead wood, resulting in fires that burn hotter and impact the landscape more severely. Uncontrolled wildfires have cost the region several billion dollars in the past five years. Further, fire suppression has resulted in substantial losses in native plant biodiversity and wildlife habitat, which also has costly implications. In Oklahoma alone, it’s estimated that $157 million will be required to restore rangelands to their native conditions. Of further concern is the fact that projected changes in climate indicate...
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In 1996, 400 tree-centered plots were established by first randomly choosing x- and y- coordinates from an imaginary grid overlaying the study area. Each random point was also randomly assigned a tree-size category from a pre-determined sampling scheme. The scheme was to include 20 trees from each of 5 size categories. Size/height categories were: less than 0.1m, 0.1-1m, 1-2m, 2-3m, and greater than 3.0m. To avoid excessive aggregation of samples, no more than 5 trees in a size class could be chosen within a 100-meter sub-area of the sampling grid. The nearest tree to each random point that met the pre-determined size requirement was identified and marked with a permanent aluminum tag. For the size category less...


    map background search result map search result map Fire Risk Frequency Analysis of the South Central Plains (1996-2015) Brazoria NWR Prairie Resilience Data Brazoria NWR Prairie Resilience Data Fire Risk Frequency Analysis of the South Central Plains (1996-2015)