Archive for October 10th, 2011

Prescription Fire

Monday, October 10th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Given the devastation produced by wildfires this year, it may be difficult to grasp the vital role fire plays in land management. Nature’s been using it for eons with great success.

David Riskind, director of natural resources for state parks, says there’s a difference between a fire burning out of control, and the prescription burns biologists recommend to landowners.

Controlled burning is a term that people use that you start at part A, and you burn until you get to part B. Professional land managers use the term prescribed fire because you have specific objectives, you have specific outcomes, you burn under very specific conditions. And so a prescription is a planning document… you lay everything out ahead of time and you then implement it with very specific objectives in mind.

Riskind says the objectives set forth in prescribed burns vary from property to property.

There can be a whole series of objectives. From very simple things like fuel load reduction. You can have specific habitat objectives…to change the vegetation structure and composition to support waterfowl, or to support antelope, or lesser prairie chickens…or Houston toads for that matter.

Houston toad habitat took a big hit from wildfires last month. Learn more on tomorrow’s show.

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and works to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.