Let it burn? Restoring fire in large wilderness preserves in the Rocky Mountains [abstract]
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): William H. Romme; Don G. Despain
Publication Year: 1988

Cataloging Information

  • community ecology
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire frequency
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire protection
  • fire regimes
  • forest fragmentation
  • fragmentation
  • fuel loading
  • ignition
  • mountains
  • national forests
  • national parks
  • natural areas management
  • old growth forests
  • prescribed fires (chance ignition)
  • weeds
  • wilderness areas
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 18, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 30022
Tall Timbers Record Number: 3997
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-B
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Large wilderness areas in National Parks and Forests offer some of our best opportunities for restoring natural disturbance regimes. High intensity fires, for example, can be permitted to burn with minimal interference. Yet even in large wilderness areas, natural fire management may be complicated by (1) changed frequency and sources of ignition, (2) altered fuel loads and distribution, (3) the large size of past fires relative to present administrative area, and (4) embryonic knowledge about fire behavior in the system. An effective fire management plan potentially leads to further difficulties, including (1) interagency friction over management fires burning near common boundaries, (2) hazards to visitors, (3) damage to archaeological and historic sturctures, (4) enhanced spread of exotic weeds, and (5) fragmentation and loss of old growth habitat. Despite these difficulties, a nearly natural fire regime has been restored in some areas. © by the Ecological Society of America. Abstract reproduced by permission

Romme, W. H., and D. G. Despain. 1988. Let it burn? Restoring fire in large wilderness preserves in the Rocky Mountains [abstract]. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, v. 69, no. 2 (Suppl.), p. 279.