is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist
Creating a Prescription for Burning

Creating a Prescription for Burning

Rangeland ecologists face a lot of legal questions, and more, when it comes to revitalizing an area using a little fire.

The ecological question facing conservationists is far from simple: to burn or not to burn. Ecosystems that have evolved with repeated exposure to fire may be better managed with prescribed burning than other methods, but there are risks and liability concerns.

In the April issue of Rangelands the benefits and risks of prescribed burning get a thorough review. Researchers conducted a survey of landowners in three eco-regions of Texas regarding their attitudes and perceptions of the issue.

Creating a Prescription for Burning

Prescribed fire offers an effective, low-cost method of brush management. It increases available forage when woody vegetation is removed and herbaceous species recover. Landowners can see economic gain in an increased capacity for both livestock and wildlife.

Ranchers also experience the inconvenience of moving livestock and the temporary loss of use of a burned area. However, landowners indicated that the biggest obstacle to use of prescribed burning was legal liability. Although many of the landowners surveyed favored the use of fire, only 33 percent had actually used it. 

Increasing landowner willingness and ability to apply prescribed fires is necessary to establish the use of periodic fire in restoring open grasslands and savannas. Prescribed burn associations (PBAs) can help overcome many impediments. Members of these associations work together to promote safe and effective use of prescribed fire. PBAs can offer fire safety training, pooled fire management equipment, and members' labor. Perhaps most important for landowners, PBAs have obtained burn liability insurance policies. 

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.