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Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resource Management > FWNRM Blog > Posts > (Day 3) Preparing for drought: Forest management strategies to increase forest resiliency

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Today we continue to go through some silvicultural practices forest landowners and managers can use to promote good health resilience to prepare for drought by focusing on the benefits of prescribed fire.

Prescribed Fire:

  • Increases soil nutrients and removes competition

                        Competition for water can amplify drought conditions for desired species

  • Reduces fuel loads to prevent catastrophic wildfires
  • Should be conducted during times that minimize tree damage
  • Is not recommended if permitted during periods of drought or significant reductions in water availability as it could increase tree stress

 

Along with increasing soil nutrients, removing competition, and reducing hazardous conditions, there are many other benefits of prescribed burning. It can be used to control insects and disease, improve wildlife habitat, enhance the appearance of your forest, improves access for timber operations, and improves forage for grazing opportunities. The specifics of prescribed fire are highly dependent on the site, weather conditions, and landowner objectives. The benefits of prescribed burning greatly outweigh its costs if conducted appropriately.  Anyone interested in conducting a prescribed burn should contact a local forestry professional and follow all local laws and guidelines. Pictures below show a prescribed burn at different stages highlighting the forest floor before and after fire passes. 

During burn212.jpg

 During burn11.jpg


during burn311.jpgMultiple workshops on the effects of drought on forests and forest management practices that help minimize the impact of drought will be offered by ACES professionals at different locations across the state of Alabama this summer. Specific locations, dates and times will be announced in the coming weeks. Remember to join us again tomorrow for one more post on preparing your forest for drought. 


Additional information on prescribed fire can be found at:

http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/forestry-wildlife/documents/PrescribedFireinSouthernEcosystems.pdf

Additional information on drought can be found at:

https://www.drought.gov/drought/

Additional information on forest management and drought can be found at:

http://www.pinemap.org/

For further information on forest drought or the upcoming forest drought workshops, contact Adam Maggard at (334)-844-2401 or adm0074@aces.edu.

 


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