Date of Award
Master of Science - Forestry
Kathryn R. Kidd
Using standardized methodology outlined by the United States Forest Service and the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas’ Fire Monitoring Program for data collection, the efficacy of current Forest Service prescribed burn regimes were analyzed for 24 study sites in East Texas National Forests. Study sites were located within Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, and Angelina/Sabine National Forests. Efficacy was determined by comparing defined management objectives established by the Forest Service to the data collected at the study sites. The results conclude that most objectives, as outlined by the Forest Service, are not being met with the current practices. Re-visitation of monitoring type definitions and objectives may be necessary, as well as a reduction in forest overstory tree basal area, initiation of more growing season burns, creating mosaics of burn intervals and ignition patterns, and herbicide applications to more effectively restore the forests to native, historical levels.
Because Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has wildlife management areas within the National Forests, the prescribed burn data was also used to investigate a direct relationship between white-tailed deer and prescribed fire years. The resulting analysis displays a peak in body weight and various antler measurements two-years post fire. Antler beam and inside spread measurements were confirmed to show statistical significance. The results indicate a beneficial relationship between deer and frequent prescribed fire.
Wall, Trey, "EFFECTIVENESS OF PRESCRIBED FIRE ON MEETING FUEL LOAD AND WILDLIFE HABITAT MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES IN EAST TEXAS NATIONAL FORESTS" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 219.
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