EGCP Joint Venture Releases a Communications Strategy: "A Burning Issue: Prescribed Fire and Fire-adapted Habitats of the East Gulf Coastal Plain"

Dec. 17, 2014 -- The East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture has released its prescribed fire communications strategy, entitled "A Burning Issue: Prescribed Fire and Fire-adapted Habitats of the East Gulf Coastal Plain."

Developed with input from more than 45 prescribed fire/resource management experts throughout the East Gulf Coastal Plain, as well as guidance from the EGCPJV staff and board, the Strategy focuses on policy, outreach and education goals that address current impediments to the use of prescribed fire.  A total of 30 prescribed fire messages designed to achieve those goals provide background and detailed supporting information to serve as a flexible foundation for future communications and initiatives.

“Prescribed fire is a priority conservation issue for the East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture,” said board member Amity Bass of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, who led the prescribed fire subcommittee. “We see the Prescribed Fire Strategy ("A Burning Issue") as an important tool in guiding efforts to educate others about how critical prescribed fire is to the health and continued existence of our natural heritage in the Southeast -- so much of which is fire dependent.”

The EGCPJV's role in promoting prescribed fire will highlight fire’s ecological benefits to wildlife, specifically birds, and provide wildlife-focused education and outreach materials to key audiences.  The EGCPJV plans to begin implementation of several communications projects in the summer of 2015, including the development of a pocket guide to birds of fire maintained habitats in the South and a PowerPoint presentation to share with agencies and interested groups for their use in promoting awareness of this issue.

Almost all Southeastern upland systems, as well as some types of wetlands, have been shaped and maintained by periodic fire.  Decades of fire suppression have degraded these systems and have changed the human perception of fire and its role on our landscape.  Prescribed fire serves as a crucial management tool to restore and maintain these habitats, and its use is a critically important issue in the Southeast.  

Click here for an Executive Summary that provides additional details. 

For more information, contact Amity Bass, LDWF Natural Heritage Program, ph. 225-765-2975 or abass@wlf.la.gov .