Authors: Brian J. CamposanoPrescribed fire is one of the most important, versatile, and cost-effective tools utilized to manage fire dependent ecosystems in Florida and elsewhere in the southeastern United States. Specifically, prescribed fire is used to reduce hazardous fuels, promote healthy forests, return nutrients to the soil, improve wildlife habitat, provide for invasive species control, and allow for natural ecological processes to occur, among other reasons. The Florida Forest Service oversees one of the most active prescribed fire programs in the country, and in turn, implements a highly progressive and proactive program on over one million acres of Florida's state forests. In recent years, this program has been exceptionally productive; burning over 200,000 acres in four of the past eight years and receiving national recognition for burning more acres in one year than any other agency or organization in the country. However, these achievements are unlikely to be attained without proper planning of goals and objectives, management by experienced practitioners, and evaluating to ensure goals are successfully met. This presentation will provide an overview of the Florida Forest Service's prescribed fire program for Florida's state forests.
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