Ecological Services

Click on a Value below to see what Actions you can take.

Recognizing the Importance of the Forest on Ecological Services

Recognizing the Importance of the Forest on Ecological Services is one of the values identified in the Cohesive Strategy in the Southeast. While developing fire management plans managers need to realize that the forest protects critical watersheds; provides recreational opportunities; mitigates the impact of climate change; provides habitat for wildlife including threatened and endangered species; maintains and improves air quality; and, offers protection from natural disturbances such as hurricanes and flooding. To be successful we need to engage those working in this environment and others who have not previously considered themselves stakeholders in wildland fire management.

The following actions contain additional tasks that may be appropriate for you to be a part. Each describes the activity along with links and resources that will be useful in moving forward.

There are 11 Actions Leading to This Value. Click on an action below to see how you can get involved and make a difference.

  1. Utilize prioritization in Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment (SWRA) and other efforts to identify and treat wildland fuels to create tactical fuel breaks in areas that facilitate tactical defense of human communities or ecological values and services from wildfire.

    Identify areas where fuels treatments provide significant ecological benefits.

  2. Utilize prescribed burning to emulate natural ecological activity over large landscapes.

    Increase prescribed fire on private lands.

    Educate public on benefits of prescribed fire.

    Develop ‘prescribed fire marketing campaigns’ to educate landowners.

    Support and expand landscape level collaborative efforts.

  3. Stabilize and rehabilitate lands after severe fires.

    Work with private landowners to gain access to disaster assistance programs.

    David Frederick
    (334) 590-6711

    Expand the use of resource advisors on wildland fire incidents.

  4. Use alternative management techniques (mechanical, grazing, etc.) to reduce fire loads where fire is not feasible or desirable.

    Reduce wildfire threat in areas where prescibed fire is not feasible.

  5. Use technology to inform decisionmakers on wildland fire in a timely manner.

    Utilize and promote SouthWRAP (include web address/link)

    For more information, visit

    David Frederick
    (334) 590-6711
  6. Work with landowners to manage lands to be resilient to wildfire while supporting traditional forest products markets.

    Make policy changes to federal programs to further expand fuels reduction work.

    Integrate programs between urban forestry and forest management to target small woodlot management and fuels reduction.

    Ease access to restoration funding after wildfires on both public and private lands.

    Understand impact of taxes to landowners ability to manage lands.

    Identify cultural values in local CWPPs.

    Utilize SRS info on family forest opportunities to manage for wildfire risk reduction.

    Host "Community Days" at Department of Defense (DoD) installations.

    Identify cultural values in local CWPPs and related intergovernmental planning documents

    Encourage interactive educational programs that highlight the multicultural heritage of fire in the Southeast.

    Integrate programs between urban forestry and forest management to address wildfire.

    Encourage interactive educational programs at both the government and non-governmental levels that highlight the multicultural heritage of fire in the Southeast.

  7. Coordinate between landowners and managers to address wildland fire.

    Work with planners/developers to establish best practices at all levels.

  8. Keep prescribed fire as a valid management tool through working with regulatory agencies.

    Work with regulatory agencies to reduce constraints on prescribed burning.

    Work with legislative officials to reduce constraints on prescribed burning.

    Continue to support the work of the SERPPAS air quality and prescribed fire working teams.

    Work among appropriate agencies to expedite public alerts on smoke related issues.

  9. Encourage greater public smoke awareness through outreach and understanding.

    Expand/create public awareness and education campaigns

    Expand outreach in localized areas before prescribed fires.

    Collect success stories that highlight the benefits of prescribed burning operations compared to wildfires

  10. Control invasive species that alter fire regimes and ecosystem function.

    Look to state forest and wildlife action plans to target high wildfire risk geographies.

    Engage landowners in the identification and control/eradication of highly flammable invasive species.

    Utilize FS Forest Health Program funds on areas of high wildfire risk.

    Provide education programs/materials for homeowners and landowners that target the most destructive invasives.

  11. Support efforts to increase prescribed burning for ecosystem restoration.

    Address prescribed fire liability concerns.

    Provide more assistance and/or incentives for prescribed burning.

    Promote prescribed burning for wildlife through all conservation (fish and wildlife) programs.

    Enhance Training Opportunities for consultants and practitioners.

    Work with Landscape Conservation Coops on wildfire and prescribed burning opportunities.

    Collect accurate statistics on prescribed fire use to aid in planning and insurance underwriting.

    Work with tribal elders to improve knowledge of fuel reduction project impacts on cultural values.