How agencies can achieve fire management objectives while protecting cultural resources: a look at the southwest
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): J. D. Lissoway
Editor(s): D. C. Bryan
Publication Year: 1997

Cataloging Information

  • archaeological sites
  • Arizona
  • catastrophic fires
  • coniferous forests
  • crown fires
  • education
  • fire case histories
  • fire management
  • fire protection
  • heat
  • histories
  • national forests
  • New Mexico
  • pine forests
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • public information
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 36129
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10475
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, 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.


The rejuvenating effects of natural fires prior to 1900 in Southwestern forest communities have been replaced by recent, unprecedented crownfires. These wildfires have given rise to planned expansion of management fire as a tool for ecosystem restoration, while protecting natural and cultural values on the landscape. However, the underlying lack of complete cultural inventory information coupled with limited understanding by managers of the role and effects of fire can adversely impact the development of clear cultural protection guidelines. Examples of strategies being shared between fire and cultural resource managers to reach common ground are: (1) Support for continued fire history studies. (2) Involvement in an ongoing study of fire effects on cultural materials. One interagency study suggests an upper threshold for heat per unit area of 400 BTU/ft/sec for prescribed fires in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer on the Santa Fe National Forest. (3) Establishment of consultation and avoidance procedures with the State Historic Preservation Officer during planning and preparation for prescribed fires. (4) Providing fire training/orientation to fire history, ecology, and project assignments for cultural personnel. These strategies evolved in part from studies of several wildfire events in the Southwest over the last two decades.

Lissoway, J. D. 1997. How agencies can achieve fire management objectives while protecting cultural resources: a look at the southwest, in Bryan, D. C., Proceedings of the environmental regulation & prescribed fire conference: legal and social challenges. Tampa, FL. Center for Professional Development, Florida State University,Tallahassee, FL. p. 113-118,