From the Abstract...'The park has been using prescribed fire to manage slash pine savannas since 1958 when it started the first prescribed fire program in the National Park Service, and it continues to be the primary resource management tool. Prescribed fire operations have changed considerably over the years as the park*s knowledge and understanding of fire ecology has expanded. Current prescribed fire operations are geared toward reducing hazardous fuel loads, and decreasing the woody understory that has accumulated over the years of fire exclusion followed by winter and late summer burning, and restoring a diverse grass dominated understory which historical accounts document existing before development of the everglades. In addition to the above objectives, the park has identified a number of resource management and operational constraints to burning the slash pine savannas. Resource management constraints include: keeping pine scorch and mortality within acceptable levels; minimizing damage to. embedded hardwood hammocks; protecting endangered species (panther and endemic vegetation), and reducing exotic species (primarily Brazilian pepper). Operational constraints include: availability of burn windows, burn crew/equipment availability and cost, and smoke management. The park has been successful in restoring diverse and grass dominated understories in several areas by shifting burning from the wet season (July-October) to the transition season (May-June) and increasing the use of headfires and flanking fires. This has resulted in a significant increase in understory grass composition and species diversity. These changes have also increased the operational difficulty of burning due to increased intensity and weather variability.'