Date of this Version
Fire Science Brief, Issue 13, September 2008
New England pine barrens are highly fl ammable, fi re dependent and critically imperiled ecosystems. The last remaining pockets of this vegetation type are woven through cherished historic sites, prestigious resort communities and some of America’s most popular seashores. Fire exclusion has all but eliminated the periodic fi res this landscape requires for rejuvenation and maintenance. Unlike many other wildland-urban interface regions however, there are no regular, high profi le wildfi res to serve as reminders of the urgent need for fuels management. Because fi res are so infrequent, local governments, residents and visitors tend to think of wildfi re fi re as something that happens somewhere else. Building on previous work, scientists and managers collaborated to design and demonstrate innovative, multi-season, culturally acceptable combinations of fuel treatments to reduce wildfi re hazard and restore habitats for endangered plants and wildlife. They also convinced local fi re fi ghting agencies, residents and visitors of the value of prescribed fi re by demonstrating how it protects and enhances their communities, economies, property values, safety, and the ecosystem in which they live.