Organization: The Nature Conservancy
Contact person: Jeff Lougee, Director of Stewardship and Ecological Management
Description: This fire management plan fulfills TNC’s requirements for an approved site fire management plan (Heumann 2012). This plan includes ecological goals, objectives and a program of actions to be implemented over the next five to ten years to:
· Restore and maintain the pitch pine - scrub oak woodland community and structural variants
· Enhance habitat for nineteen lepidoptera and five shrubland and early successional birds
· Manage fuels to reduce the potential for wildfire that may threaten life and property
Management will continue to include mechanical treatments to reduce fuels and improve habitat combined with prescribed burns to maintain the pitch pine - scrub oak woodland community and structural types. Mechanical treatments will include mowing of dense tall scrub oak and timber harvesting to reduce canopy cover and remove encroaching fire intolerant tree species. Prescribed burning will be used to reduce residual fuels from mechanical treatments, to maintain the natural community and habitat by promoting the germination of pitch pine and the persistence of fire maintained plants, and to reduce fuels. This plan provides for an adaptive management approach to balance the ecological needs of the conservation targets and the need to reduce fuels. Monitoring, documenting methods, and reviewing results will direct future management. The Nature Conservancy will work with state and local partner organizations to reduce hazardous fuels and apply prescribed fire to maintain natural communities and rare species populations.
Over the next five years, approximately 500 - 750 acres will be treated using mechanical fuel reduction methods and prescribed burning on Conservancy and partner-owned lands (Map 1). More areas may be treated depending on resources and the results of treatment of this first set of management units. The Nature Conservancy will also work with partner organizations and landowners to reduce fuels within the WUI.