Fire and Conservation: What We Do

Site-based Solutions

Fire Learning Networks

One way the Conservancy builds partner capacity is by sponsoring collaborative, multi-stakeholder learning networks. Fire Learning Networks take a long-term approach to restoring the natural role of fire through a collaborative process that ensures the needs of different stakeholders are met. All stakeholders—from community groups to federal agencies—come together to develop a shared vision for a given landscape, and to learn how to overcome critical challenges related to maintaining or restoring ecosystem health. Network projects demonstrate successful approaches, speed technology transfer and generate on-the-ground results.

On-the-Ground Fire Management

In the United States, Nature Conservancy fire staff safely perform prescribed burns on more than 100,000 acres per year. In conjunction with partners, staff also support the planning and implementation of burns on another several hundred thousand acres per year. The Conservancy is also developing ecological fire management capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean. All Nature Conservancy fire management programs employ a rigorous planning process, including defining ecological goals, developing operational guidelines and managing smoke.

Fire Training

From 2007-2010 our fire training program offered 40 courses and trained approximately 1,200 people in ecological fire management concepts and techniques.

In the United States, the Conservancy builds the capacity of state, federal and private partners to restore and maintain fire-dependent ecosystems through the use of prescribed fire and carefully managed wildland fires. The majority of this work is funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Forest Service and the US Department of the Interior called Promoting Ecosystem Resiliency through Collaboration

Fire Science  

The Nature Conservancy entered into a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior in 2003 to collaborate on a project to bring science into action on the ground via the LANDFIRE Program.  Maps, models, data and other powerful tools help planners and managers assess landscapes and make decisions about how best to conserve, protect and restore them to health. 

TNC-LANDFIRE collaborates in the development of tools that land managers need to decide how to respond to atypical wildland fires, utilize scarce resources wisely, and improve ecosystem health and resilience. Due to its success and wide-spread use, the project has expanded into a variety of application areas, like gauging the health of grizzly bear habitat in Montana; monitoring, reporting and forecasting conditions along the Appalachian Trail in Maine; and investigating climate-induced changes in Oregon. 

LANDFIRE continually develops comprehensive, consistent, scientifically based products that 

  • provide national-level, landscape-scale products and data that support fire and fuels management planning and natural resource management across the entire U.S;
  • provide consistent, comprehensive data that crosses boundaries (state, public and private lands) for greater efficiency; and
  • supplement site-level vegetation studies to support scenario planning, budgeting, and restoration and conservation projects with the best science available.  

For more information about our course offerings, contact us at


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