Workshop #9 – Getting more “Good Fire” on the Ground Across North America
Instructors: Johnny Stowe, Heritage Preserve Manager, SC Department of Natural Resources USA; Steve Miller, Land Management Bureau Chief, St. John’s Water Management District (FL, USA); and Morgan Varner, Professor, Virginia Tech USA; Chair, Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils
Southeastern North America (SErn) has made huge strides in restoring the culture of Rxd burning in the last two decades, including not only (1) gathering buy-in from a broad array of supporters (including the public and practitioners, as well as in the policy-arena) and (2) getting more good fire “on-the-ground” — but efforts to implement the SErn model to other parts of the continent — in particular the western U.S. — have been relatively unproductive. This lack-of-success appears to center in part on the diametric pattern of land ownership in these areas (mostly private in the SE and mostly public in the West) and associated policy and landscape features, as well as cultural and other human dimension factors. So the SErn model, while helpful to continental (and global) efforts to get more land burned under prescription, is not the key to success. We will provide an interactive forum to discuss the socio-ecological differences and concomitant challenges of these regions with the aim of developing region-specific yet parallel paradigms for the SErn and western regions of the continent. The North American Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils provides a overarching umbrella to connect ideas emanating from this workshop with the key people who can develop them further and carry them forward. We envision this workshop stimulating discussion that would informally carry through the conference, culminating in a gathering toward the end of the week to weave together ideas.
Objectives: To foster a dialogue for strategies and tactics to get significantly more land burned in western NA through an interactive discussion about what has worked in SE NA and other parts of the globe; why these approaches have not worked as well, or at all, in western NA; and what a western model might entail. This workshop aims at connecting people and their ideas in a network that will persist after the conference, and ultimately develop a “western” approach that parallels the success of restoring prescribed fire in SE NA.
Note: Participants should bring their own laptops.