Monday, July 14, 2008

Appalachian Fire Learning Network

Scientists and managers from state agencies, the US Forest Service, and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) met July 8th -10th at Douthat State Park for the third workshop of the Appalachian Fire Learning Network (FLN). Hosted by the Alleghany Highlands FLN project, the workshop focused on collaborative efforts to restore forest communities dependent upon fire. Representatives attended from the three other demonstration projects in the network: Cumberland River, KY; Shawnee Forest, OH; and Southern Blue Ridge, NC. Each project reported on their planning efforts and accomplishments.

A highlight of the workshop was of course the field trip. We visited recent prescribed burns conducted by two Alleghany Highlands FLN partners, the Forest Service and TNC. Together both partners burned over 4,000 acres last year to restore pine and pine-oak woodlands. We also visited a globally rare “pine barrens” variant of the pine-oak/heath woodland communtity on Warm Springs Mountain. The challenges of restoring this fire-dependent community (likely a stand replacement regime) were a topic for much discussion.

Collaborators in the Alleghany Highlands project include TNC, USFS, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virgina Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Shenandoah National Park.

More information on the Appalachian Fire Learning Network can be found at

No comments: