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Fire and Wildlife
This discussion was recorded on Jan. 19, 2023. Our panelists discussed the good, bad, and ugly of fire and wildlife - roasty toasty critters or promoting sustainable habitat for expanding and healthy wildlife populations? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of fire on wildlife. How is the lack of fire at the necessary scale, frequency, intensity/severity, and seasonality one of the greatest threats to wildlife in fire-dependent ecosystems?
This panel discussion was approved for 1.5 Category 1 CFE's by the Society of American Foresters.
Lauren Pile Knapp
Lauren is a Research Ecologist with the USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station located in Columbia, Missouri. Her research focuses on using silvicultural or vegetation management approaches to solve emerging ecological issues to natural resources including plant invasion and disturbance.
Paul is a Fire Management Specialist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, based in East Lansing, MI. He has worked for USFWS since 1996. His work in fire has focused on grasslands, in a swath through the center of the country from coastal Texas to the Upper Midwest. He is one of the founders of the Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium, and is a member of the Lake States Fire Science Consortium Advisory Board.
Jim Cox heads up the Stoddard Bird Lab at Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy in north Florida. The lab strives to find ways to stabilize and grow populations of rare species using hands-on management with a strong emphasis on prescribed fire and the factors that land managers consider when they burn (weather, frequency, season, extent, and ignition pattern). The lab also assesses the ecology of southeastern pineland species in a setting that mirrors historic conditions.
Marcus is director of the Disturbance Ecology and Ecological Restoration lab (@ufdeerlab) in the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department at the University of Florida. His program focuses on integrating principles of disturbance ecology with wildlife ecology to develop habitat management recommendations for wildlife conservation. His program also uses a variety of outreach programs to extend that knowledge to managers.
Susan Loeb is a Research Ecologist and Project Leader of the Upland Hardwood Region Ecology and Management Research Unit of the US Forest Service, Southern Research Station. She is located at Clemson University where she also serves as an Adjunct Professor. She has been studying the ecology and conservation of forest bats for the past 22 years, including the effects on bat populations of forest management (including prescribed fire) and other disturbances (e.g., climate change, disease).
Ashley Peters is the national Director of Communications & Marketing for the Ruffed Grouse Society, a forest wildlife conservation nonprofit. Ashley found her passion for forests more than a decade ago while working as a sawyer and trail crew lead in Superior National Forest (MN) and throughout Southeast Alaska. In her current role, she works with forestry professionals, hunters, outreach staff, and scientists to guide communications and engagement around wildlife and forest management.
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