A prescription for prevention and resiliance
Prescribed burning promotes ecological health in frequent fire forests, reduces hazardous fuels, and reduces the intensity and size of future wildfires. Ecological use of fire aligns with the Guild’s principle that responsible forest management imitates nature’s dynamic processes and minimizes negative impacts. For many years, the Guild has supported the ecological use of fire in New Mexico. As the warming climate has magnified the threat of high-severity wildfire, we have redoubled our efforts to facilitate the re-introduction of good fire to fire-adapted forests.
A key constraint in the use of prescribed fire to restore ecosystems is the availability of personnel and equipment. The large, high-severity wildfires that need to be suppressed to protect lives, homes, and communities divert resources from prescribed fire. Fire managers can get inundated dealing with the latest catastrophic wildfire, leaving prescribed fire largely ignored and backlogged. Without prescribed fire or managed wildfires in fire- adapted forests, catastrophic wildfires become more common, setting a viscous cycle in motion.
The All Hands All Lands (AHAL) Burn Team is designed to respond to these needs. The AHAL Burn Team is a collaborative effort between The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, the Rio Grande Water Fund, the Forest Stewards Guild, and many others to accelerate the return of good fire in northern New Mexico. The name ‘All Hands, All Lands’ comes from the US Forest Service’s goal to restore forests with a wide array of partners, across all ownerships.
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