Successfully restoring the ecosystem function of a small mammal community, as part of a holistic ecosystem restoration effort, requires focus on population dynamics that operate over multiple spatial scales. I participated in a replicated, manipulative experiment investigating the use of fire and fire alternatives to restore a longleaf pine ecosystem, formerly one of the most expansive and biologically diverse ecosystems of North America. I conducted a four-year mark-recapture study, comprising 119,700 trap nights, to assess demographic responses of small mammal populations to habitat alteration. Survival of golden mice (Ochrotomys nuttalli) was affected negatively by fire. Survival and recruitment of cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus) were affected differently by restoration efforts. Survival varied over three spatial scales. Recruitment responded to both on-site habitat alteration and availability of immigrants from source habitat outside restoration areas. Attempting to restore historic assemblages of animal communities requires assessment of changes in population demographics as they respond to habitat alteration at a local scale, within the context of the surrounding landscape.