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Training Courses

NRCS participant igniting pineland during the workshop on fire in southern pinelands.

NRCS participant igniting pineland during the workshop on fire in southern pinelands.

February session group on Wade tract tour.

PFTC – February session group on Wade tract tour.

Kevin Robertson, Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Program Director, discussed fire return interval with two PFTC students in June 2015.

Jim Cox, Stoddard Bird Lab Director, discussed fire and Sparrows with participants in the PFTC February 2015 session.

Jim Cox, Stoddard Bird Lab Director, discussed fire and Sparrows with participants in the PFTC February 2015 session.

Each year Tall Timbers’ research scientists, biologists, and administrative staff assist with or organize and direct a number of Training Courses about fire ecology and prescribed fire. Course participants have come from almost all fifty states and from the following countries; Belize, Guatemala, France, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain. Short courses and field tours have also been organized for international participants from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and various provinces in Canada.

PFTC (Prescribed Fire Training Center) – The National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC) is located in Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers and the Center have maintained a close working relationship since the Center opened in 1998. Each year PFTC utilizes Tall Timbers staff to assist in 2-3 classes of their 3-week training course. Tall Timbers has provided the fire training specialist at PFTC through an agreement between the USFS and Tall Timbers since 2013.

Over 2,000 attendees have been through the Center’s 20-day sessions and while visiting Tall Timbers they are given a cultural history of fire in the Red Hills Region, a history of Tall Timbers, an overview of the research program, and how land management is integrated with research on the station. Highlights include presentations by staff researchers and how fire interacts with their work. Participants are also treated to field time on Tall Timbers learning about the application of fire and various other land management techniques on the property. They spend some time on the Stoddard Fire Plots learning about fire frequency and its importance in maintaining ecosystems in the southeast US and elsewhere. NB66 is also the site of a field visit to see the dramatic influence of fire exclusion and its harmful effects on native plant and animal communities. The classes wind up with a field visit to the Wade Tract – to view one of the few truly representative longleaf-wiregrass communities currently in existence.

NRCS (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) – Tall Timbers hosts and organizes a week long intensive Fire in Ecosystem Management Course each year focused on Fire in Southern Pines for the NRCS. The cadre includes numerous Tall Timbers personnel and partners. This course draws NRCS field personnel from primarily the eastern US. Those participants that pass the final exam receive certification from NRCS. Participants receive instruction in prescribed fire planning, fuels, fire behavior, fire weather, smoke management, fire effects on vegetation, wildlife, and soils among many other topics. A key focus of the course is field exercises designed to give experience in applying prescribed fire to the land as well as how the participants can help private landowners plan and implement prescribed fire on their properties across the southeast.

NRCS group writing a burn plan for a unit on Tall Timbers.

NRCS group writing a burn plan for a unit on Tall Timbers.

Group fire planning discussions.

Group fire planning discussions.

NRCS workshop attendee group photo.

NRCS workshop attendee group photo.