Burning Passion for Alabama’s Natural Ecosystems

In their largest solo controlled burn to date, The Nature Conservancy in Alabama Burn Crew conducted a 450 acre burn at the Kathy Stiles Freeland Bibb County Glades Preserve February 24, 2017. Two crews – a total of 11 members – facilitated the burn adjacent to the Little Cahaba River.

Director of Conservation and Fire Manager Keith Tassin served as Burn Boss. “While today’s burn was conducted solely by Conservancy staff, we work in partnership with private landowners and state and federal partners to conduct as many controlled burns as possible during the burn season,” said Tassin, who has more than 20 years of controlled burn experience. From 2014 – 2016, he has led the most controlled burns across the Conservancy.

Regular controlled burns of fire-tolerant longleaf pine forests help to eliminate competition from understory vegetation. “Alabama longleaf forests are born in fire, maintained by fire and without it, they will disappear,” said Roger W. Mangham, state director for the Conservancy’s Alabama chapter, who also has more than 20 years of controlled burn experience. 


Burn plans identify the desired conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to get the best result safely.  Strict procedures provide for the safety of the crew, nearby residents and private property. Conditions such as weather, wind and soil moisture must be just right before any controlled burn is conducted.

A controlled burn takes a lot of planning and tremendous coordination and it is crucially important to revitalizing Alabama's habitats for people and nature.  To help The Nature Conservancy In Alabama continue its work make a secure, online donation today.


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