From the text (pp.6-7) ... 'Another [reason periodic low-intensity fires have ceased to provide forest and land maintenance] is the culture of fire suppression in America deliberately created in the early 20th century to promote a shift to intensive forestry and away from herding livestock. However, in some areas, especially in the South, frequent prescribed (controlled) burning has been preserved as a land use tradition to keep fuel loads low, control competition, and maintain or restore natural habitat, which in pinelands quickly turns to hardwood forest in the absence of burning. Although urbanization and concerns about smoke and air quality that come with it have placed pressure against the tradition of burning, the rapid development of technology for predicting fire weather, greater availability of training for prescribed burning, and the discriminate issue of permits by state agencies have greatly improved the ability to minimize negative fire effects.In many parts of the South, periodic (one- to five-year interval) prescribed burning during timber stand rotations was standard practice in managing planted or natural stands of loblolly, shortleaf, slash, and Iongleaf pines, in order to control hardwood competition. In recent years there has been a trend of decreased burning and increased use of herbicides for this purpose, stemming from concerns about liability, as well as potential damage to trees and effects on tree growth. However, an obvious advantage of periodic burning is that it costs only a fraction of herbicide application.Also, it provides frequent fuel reduction, which protects trees from wildflres that would be destructive under conditions dry enough for ignition of accumulated litter fuels. Where trees are planted at 'wildlife spacing' (e.g., 10-by-10-foot spacing after final thinning, or approximately 150 trees per acre), burning also promotes dominance of herbaceous plant species that provide habitat for the many types of wildlife that depend on open, grassy forests for survival, if source populations for those species exist in the local region. Herbaceous cover, which recovers rapidly from burns, also provides fine fuel for future burns.' © 2007 American Forest Foundation (AFF).