Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 22

People often ask about the effect of prescribed fire on wildlife, says
Notifying the public of a controlled burn at a
Brian Wiebler, communications director at Tall Timbers Research Station
and Land Conservancy, a Tallahassee, Fla.-based nonprofit that spans the
Georgia-Florida line. One of its core areas is the Red Hills region.
" I like to remind everyone that wildlife in our region has relied on and
adapted to fire for millennia. The majority know exactly how to stay safe
during burns. They fly away, climb trees, burrow, go into stump holes or
retreat to wetlands, " he says. " On occasion, individual animals may perish.
However, the resulting habitat improvements
from prescribed fire remain highly
valuable because they help ensure the
survival of wildlife species overall. The
bigger threat to many species is fire
exclusion-active efforts to put out and
stop all fire. "
Palmer also assures those concerned
about wildlife safety that animals getting
killed by prescribed fire is not an issue,
with the exception of forest pests, such as
Southern pine beetles and ticks.
Landowner resources,
becoming certified
" Burn authorization is
not limited to certified
burners. Anyone in the
state of Georgia can
request a burn permit
to conduct a prescribed
burn on property they
own or have authority
[to burn] from the landowner, "
says Ken Parker, a
wildland fire specialist with the
Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC),
which has offices throughout
the state.
The GFC authorizes prescribed
Above: Brian Wiebler,
communications director
at Tall Timbers, assists
with banding wild
bobwhite quail chicks.
Left: Roundleaf sundews
thrive in sunny conditions
created by prescribed
burning.
state park is an essential part of the plan, says Phil
Delestrez, northern natural resources manager for
Georgia State Parks.
" We try to put notices out on our website and on
social media, " he says. " We always work with the park
managers, assistant managers and region managers
so that they know what's going on. "
Seeing the results of a controlled
burn at a state park is extremely
gratifying, Delestrez says.
" There are parks where we've
been burning [on a schedule] for
20 years. One of them is the grassland
at Panola Mountain State
Park [in Stockbridge]. They're
getting species there now that
they never had before, " he says.
" There's a fellow out there who
bands birds; he's been out there
since about 2007. He's getting a lot
more re-tags on birds showing up
that he's tagged in the past. "
Reduction of fuel (combustible
biomass) on the forest floor
is another priority.
" We try to keep a fair amount
burns and provides classes for those who
wish to be burn-certified.
Those who take part in the comprehensive certification process attend
classes to learn about fire behavior and how weather affects fire conditions.
They also must have conducted at least five prescribed burns, have two
years of experience with prescribed burns and pass a written test.
GFC foresters provide online resources about best practices and also
assist landowners with writing prescribed-burn plans.
Prescribed burns in state parks
Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) personnel also
conduct prescribed fires at Georgia state parks. Burning at Tallulah Gorge
State Park in Tallulah Falls has helped restore much of the park's rare Table
Mountain pine and pitch pine ecosystem, which was nearly lost. Treated
areas also have produced many new wildflowers, such as white-fringeless
orchids or monkey face orchids and roundleaf sundews, a carnivorous
species that eats small insects. These plants grow along the gorge rim,
where they thrive in the sunny conditions after prescribed burning.
22 Georgia Magazine March 2022
of our woods burned so there's
not a whole lot of fuel building up
under the trees. I'm sure you're
familiar with all the problems out
in the western part of the United
States. A lot of that is because of
fire suppression. For years, they
didn't do any prescribed burning;
they put out fires as soon as they
started, so fuel had a chance to
build up, " Delestrez says.
He says that this fuel buildup
is feeding the huge wildfires
destroying many Western forests today.
" These places want to burn, " Delestrez says. " And
if you don't do it, Mother Nature will. "
Victoria Scharf DeCastro is a freelance writer
based in Suwanee.
Learn more about it
* Georgia Forestry Commission, gatrees.org
* Tall Timbers Research Station and Land
Conservancy, talltimbers.org
* WhyPrescribedFire.Org: We Burn to Protect,
whyprescribedfi re.org
* Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Bobwhite Quail Initiative, bit.ly/gadnrbqi
* Georgia State Parks, bit.ly/gspburn
COURTESY TALL TIMBERS
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http://www.gatrees.org http://www.talltimbers.org http://www.WhyPrescribedFire.Org http://www.bit.ly/gadnrbqi http://www.bit.ly/gspburn

Georgia Magazine - March 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - March 2022

Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 4
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 5
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 6
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 7
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 8
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 9
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 10
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 11
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 12
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 13
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 14
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 15
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 16
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 17
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 18
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 19
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 20
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 21
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 22
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 23
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 24
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 25
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 26
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 27
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 28
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 29
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 30
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 31
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 32
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 33
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 34
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 35
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 36
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 37
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 38
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Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 40
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Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 45
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 46
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover4
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