Fire management challenges and opportunities for land managers: using Okefenokee and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges as examples
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): S. Reeves; F. T. Cole; J. Savery
Editor(s): D. C. Bryan
Publication Year: 1997

Cataloging Information

  • aesthetics
  • air quality
  • archaeological sites
  • Aristida stricta
  • burning permits
  • conservation
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • education
  • fire dependent species
  • fire management
  • fire protection
  • flatwoods
  • Georgia
  • hunting
  • lakes
  • liability
  • natural resource legislation
  • Okefenokee Swamp
  • Pinus palustris
  • pocosins
  • pollution
  • public information
  • recreation
  • rivers
  • smoke management
  • swamps
  • threatened and endangered species
  • water
  • wetlands
  • wilderness areas
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • wildlife refuges
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 36130
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10476
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.


Managers of designated wilderness or conservation areas, especially those that are fire-dependent, often face a major dilemma. It is essential that fire perform its natural role of rejuvenating the ecosystem. Standards of environmental regulation, stewardship responsibilities and social liability preclude free-ranging wildfires and severely constrain even the most professionally developed prescribed fire program, On one hand, there is an ecological and social imperative to prescribed fire; on the other, the synergism of an array of regulatory constraints reduces the opportunities to use prescribed fire. Some of the more complex and restrictive regulations deal with water pollution, air pollution, smoke management, wetlands, cultural resources, wilderness areas, endangered species and state coastal zone management areas. These regulations all become more: complex as the wildland-urban interface increases and as the number of habitat classifications increase. Fire-based management decisions must be developed to form a balance between these environmental regulations and our resource mandates to manage fire-dependent habitats. This paper discusses this conflict/dilemma and the resultant threats to the ecosystem health and function of two major wetland types: the Okefenokee and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges.

Reeves, S., F. T. Cole, and J. Savery. 1997. Fire management challenges and opportunities for land managers: using Okefenokee and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges as examples, 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. 119-124,