Rx fire laws: tools to protect fire: the 'ecological imperative'
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Dale D. Wade; Steven R. Miller; Johnny Stowe; James D. Brenner
Editor(s): Matthew B. Dickinson
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • fire policy
  • fire-adapted ecosystems
  • prescribed burning policies
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: January 12, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 11020


The South is the birthplace of statutes and ordinances that both advocate and protect the cultural heritage of woods burning, which has been practiced in this region uninterrupted for more than 10,000 years. We present a brief overview of fire use in the South and discuss why most southern states recognized early on that periodic fire was necessary to sustain fire adapted ecosystems and passed laws to protect and facilitate the practice of controlled burning. We also provide examples of legislation promoting this ecological imperative and share ideas we have found helpful in getting the 'right' people involved to assure passage of such legislation. Finally, we discuss constraints to prescription fire that need to be mitigated, as well as items to consider including in pro-fire legislation.

Online Link(s):
Wade, Dale; Miller, Steven; Stowe, Johnny; Brenner, James. 2006. Rx fire laws: tools to protect fire: the 'ecological imperative'. Pages 233-262 In: Dickinson, Matthew B. (ed.). Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers, proceedings of a conference; 2005 November 15-17; Columbus, OH. General Technical Report NRS-GTR-P-1. Newtown Square, PA: USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station.