Fire professionals from throughout Texas and across the nation will join NatureConservancy fire experts in the Trans-Pecos region to conduct multiple controlled burns in seven counties between Jan. 19 and Feb. 13, with the possibility of additional burns into March, The Nature Conservancy of Texas announced Tuesday.
The objective of the burns is to reduce brush density, improve grazing lands and grassland health and vigor, and enhance wildlife habitat and watershed health.
Fire personnel representing the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Texas Forest Service will join Nature Conservancy staff members from Texas and as far away as Massachusetts to conduct burns on Nature Conservancy preserves and private ranchland in Brewster, Crockett, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Pecos, Terrell and Val Verde counties.
The burns are part of The Nature Conservancy’s 2009 Trans-Pecos Fire Training Initiative, providing controlled-burn training and opportunities for professional fire personnel to advance their qualifications. The effort is funded in part by a cost-share grant from the Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to support the Conservancy’s Trans-Pecos Fire Program.
Jason Wrinkle, director of the Nature Conservancy of Texas’ Lower Pecos Project, will serve as burn boss and overall coordinator for the multiple controlled burns.
“Controlled or prescribed fire is an important land management tool that the Conservancy uses to preserve places we protect that depend on fire to maintain the health of lands, water and wildlife,” Wrinkle said. “Since controlled burning occurs under carefully planned, pre-determined conditions, it is often less risky than to wait for the inevitable incidence of a natural fire – which may occur when weather conditions make it difficult to control. Controlled burns can help reduce the risk of catastrophic fires by preventing the build up of vegetation that fuels more severe burns.”
For images and video of controlled burns, visit nature.org/texas.
In the Lone Star State, The Nature Conservancy of Texas owns more than 30 nature preserves and conservation projects and assists private landowners to conserve their land through more than 100 voluntary land-preservation agreements. The Nature Conservancy of Texas protects some 250,000 acres of wild lands and, with partners, has conserved 750,000 acres for wildlife habitat across the state. Visit The Nature Conservancy of Texas on the Web at nature.org/texas.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.