Browse our Growing Library of Success Stories
By: K. Gregg Elliott
Like almost everyone else in his rural community, Gabe had been farming and ranching using conventional methods since purchasing his Brown’s Ranch from the parents of his wife Shelly in 1991. Possibly because he had not grown up on a farm, Gabe found that he was constantly asking the question, “why do we do things this way?”
By: National Grazing Lands Coalition
Our lands and soil are possibly the most underappreciated resources we have, yet their conservation is vital to humanity. We need to have an important discussion on what can be done to protect the planet through proper land management. This video, produced by the National Grazing Lands Coalition (NatGLC), it shares one of the many stories about the importance of the work ranchers and farmers do every day. “I think people have forgotten the large amounts of land that ranchers like us preserve and maintain in order to raise beef and provide ecosystem services,” says Chad Ellis, NatGLC’s Board Chair. “It’s time for a fresh perspective being taken into account when discussing our country’s lands and I think that this video is very effective in communicating this message. Ranchers need to be part of the conversation on climate change solutions because they very well could be the answer.”
By: Northwest Florida Water Management District
On March 2, 2018, a large prescribed burn occurred at the Yellow River Water Management Area in Santa Rosa County, Florida, which is managed by the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Weather and atmospheric conditions were ideal and resources were available for the Florida Forest Service to approve the burn permit. Aerial ignition via helicopter started the fire systematically across the landscape. Ground firing and monitoring crews, consisting of 15 personnel were stationed at the tract perimeter as ground support during the burn.
By: Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Tallulah Gorge State Park and the town of Tallulah Falls, Georgia are surrounded by a unique, fire-adapted forest community that, without low-intensity fire management, would gradually disappear. Restoration efforts are currently underway tore-establish this forest community with prescribed fire and mechanical treatments.
By: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The 112,000 acre Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge near Suffolk, Virginia has a long history of large and dangerous wildfires. One and a half million people live adjacent to the swamp, making the Refuge boundary a significant Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). For this reason, wildfire management and smoke concerns are a major issue at the Refuge. To assist in early fire detection and prevention, NASA developed an interagency agreement with the Refuge and an additional agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build and operate several inexpensive drones, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), for use at the Refuge.
By: Shelia Doughty, Arkansas Firewise
The Firewise program is a nationwide initiative that recognizes communities for taking action to protect people and properties from the risk of fire in the wildland/urban interface. Communities tailor education and clean-up to fit their needs with cooperative assistance from state forestry agencies and local fire staff. State forestry agencies support the Firewise Communities/USA recognition effort which works through the National Association of State Foresters (NASF). Arkansas leads the nation with the most recognized Firewise communities in the state.
By: USDA Forest Service
Over four long days in late March 2011, the most severe wildfire outbreak in a decade occurred at Eglin Air Force Base, located near Destin, Florida (Fig. 1). A persistent drought, 20 mph winds and low humidity, combined with 12-15 arson fires on the property, resulted in 6,000 acres burned in a matter of days. Due to Eglin’s aggressive prescribed fire program, the March 2011 wildfire severity and acres burned were significantly reduced. Without this regular fuel reduction, anywhere from 10-12,000 acres could have burned just on the Eglin side, with untold acres burned and property damaged north of Interstate 10.
By: US Forest Service
On July 14, 2015, a lightning strike ignited a wildfire on Bald Knob in the Grandfather Ranger District (GRD) of the Pisgah National Forest. Only 30 miles outside of Asheville, North Carolina and on rugged terrain difficult to access, the wildfire may have posed greater threat had it not been adjacent to areas containing recent fuel treatments (prescribed fire) and wildfires. These treatments, as part of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), reduced fire fuel loads in the forest and enabled the Bald Knob fire to safely burn while protecting firefighters, local residents, structures, power line corridors, communication towers, and Forest Service property and surrounding land. Fuel treatments positively influenced the fire’s spread and allowed firefighting efforts to truly focus on protection of private properties. The inaccessible terrain as well as the confine and contain strategy allowed ample time to keep the effected community well informed of current fire behavior, smoke impacts and management plans for the fire.
By: Brevard County Board of County Commissioners
The Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program, located in Brevard County, Florida was established in 1990 to protect natural habitats while also providing recreational and educational opportunities to residents and visitors. Approved through referendum by Brevard County voters in 1990, the EEL program provides funding and guidance to form a network of sanctuary lands to be purchased and indefinitely managed by the Program.
Two destructive wildfires in 2011 brought the importance of wildfire preparation and protection to the forefront of the City of Austin, Travis County, Texas. These fires led to a multi-year, multi-faceted project to address wildland fire safety in Austin-Travis County.
The Austin Fire Department (AFD) provided the human-power, expertise, and educational resources necessary to address wildland fire issues. In 2013, the AFD, with federal, state, and local partners, developed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, a plan specifically designed to reduce wildland fire risk according to the needs of Austin-Travis County.
By: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Enon-Sehoy Plantation, located in the Alabama Upper Coastal Plains, is a recreational, quail hunting property renowned for its open-story pine trees and diverse wildlife. The 27,500 acre, privately-owned property contains widely spaced longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly, and slash pine forests (basal area of 15-60 square feet per acre) with diverse understory grasses and forbs, such as bluestem, switchgrass, and the federally endangered American chaffseed. The forests and understory vegetation support abundant wildlife, including deer, turkey, and quail, as well as the threatened Bachman’s sparrow and the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Within four years, the property’s red-cockaded woodpecker population grew from just 3 clusters to 29 potential breeding groups.
By: US Forest Service
In a unique partnership, the Florida Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy have joined forces as they use fire strike teams, currently referred to as Ecosystem Restoration Teams, to restore a variety of forest ecosystems and get fire back on the ground across the state of Florida.
By: Emily Nason
A retired surgeon, Salem Saloom, owns 2,200 acres of land and works to protect long leaf farms
By: Texas A&M Forest Service
In 2014, Texas A&M Forest Service partnered with The Nature Conservancy to begin reforestation efforts on the Davis Mountains Preserve. Between 2015 and 2016, TFS received a 3-year $200,000 grant from USDA Forest Service for initial forest stand assessments and management prescriptions. Stands were marked and baseline data gathered in preparation for the thinning of 350 acres. Over 2,000 seedlings were planted in a site prep experiment, and as wildland planting. The wildland planting includes any seedlings that were planted outside of the pre-determined research sites
By: USDA NRCS Texas
This video describes how Rufus Duncan is helping restore the historic Longleaf Pine range at Scrappin' Valley in east Texas.
By: USDA NRCS Texas
Simon Winston is restoring Longleaf Pine to his ranch near Nacogdoches Texas. Simon has received technical and financial assistance from many sources including the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Longleaf Taskforce. Simon uses frequent prescribed burns to create favorable wildlife habitat and enhance the longleaf ecosystem
By: USDA NRCS
This Success Story highlights East Texas landowner Lloyd Gillespie's efforts to bring back Longleaf Pines to Scrappin' Valley.
By: USDA NRCS
Mike Howard is a landowner in Sabine County and is restoring Longleaf Pines on his property.
By: Sheldon Alberts
In rural Indiana, Ray McCormick plants cover crops – and trees – to protect farms and rivers. It’s a conservation practice Ray uses on “every acre” to improve soil health, prevent erosion and reduce nutrient runoff from his farm into the Wabash River, a 500-mile-long tributary of the Mississippi River.
By: Glenn Rosenholm
Low-impact forester overcomes challenges to improve landowners’ forest lands. Robert Nelson believes that good forest management almost always improves wildlife habitat. You can manage your land to improve your timber. Forest health is also another big concern, because it increases resilience to disease and climate change stressors.