From the text ... 'Because fire was such an important historic disturbance and is a large component in understanding regional differences in emissions, it is analogous to an elephant in the closet. One can think of fire frequency as the elephant. That is, it is an issue that is often unknown, disregarded, or overlooked. The scale of historic emissions is potentially very large, contentious, and just too big of an issue to get out of the closet door. As an elephant in the closet, fires have the potential to break their confines (e.g., wildfires, megefires), but being in the closet effectively hides its potential and features. By illuminating fire histories and using them to develop this model and map, we hope that fire regimes and their diversity (the elephant) are being placed into a stadium where many different people with perhaps diverse fire interests can see the features, see the differences between the fire frequency of, let's say, Florida or Oklahoma or Maine, estimate how emissions may have varied spatially as well as temporally, get an idea of how much the agencies might be reducing emissions from what they historically would have been, and potentially use this information to weigh against the noted decline of species, consequences of megafires, or forest mesophication.' © 2010, Tall Timbers Research, Inc.