Learning About fire in the Southern Blue Ridge

Restoring historic fire regimes is a landscape scale issue. With a century of fire supression, an estimated 80% of U.S. forests and rangelands have altered fire dynamics. Beyond just restoring fire-adapted ecosystems on the Grandfather Ranger District, the Grandfather Restoration Project and its partners are part of a larger landscape group working on restoring historic fire regimes to the Southern Blue ridge Mountains: The Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network (FLN). Organized by The Nature Conservancy, the Southern Blue Ridge FLN is a network of federal, state, and and non-profit agencies who are sharing their knowledge and experience in reintroducting fire into the Southern Blue Ridge landscape through prescribed burning. The group shares research, monitoring results, and management stratigies at an annual workshop, held this year in Cashiers, NC.

Mark Hall, South Carolina Parks and Recreation, talks about his experiences with prescribed burning in Jocassee Gorges State Park

Along with sharing sucess stories and challenges, presentations at the workshop focused on buidling capacity for prescribed burning programs, the effects of prescribed burns on wildlife — everything from salamanders to birds to small mammals, and creating fire-wise communities. More information can be found on the Southern Blue Ridge FLN workshop website.