Chattahoochee Fall Line Ecosystem Partnership (CFLEP)

Chattahoochee Fall Line Ecosystem Partnership (CFLEP)

Reflections on the Chattahoochee Fall Line Rx Fire Season

By LuAnn Craighton, The Nature Conservancy

The efforts of diverse partners and programs resulted in a successful prescribed fire season across the Chattahoochee Fall Line Significant Geographic Area (SGA) in Alabama and Georgia.  Two “Learn & Burn” live-fire mentoring programs were conducted in the Alabama portion of our SGA.  Led by the Alabama Prescribed Fire Council and supported by multiple partners, these events (one dormant season; one growing season) attracted over 100 participants who gained experience working alongside experienced Rx fire practitioners on burns.  In addition, The Nature Conservancy’s Chattahoochee Fall Line seasonal fire team assisted with Rx fire activities on Tuskegee National Forest in Alabama.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Fall Line seasonal fire team applied their skills to over 7,000 acres within the SGA.  Several of their tracts have now seen 2-3 year fire return intervals and are displaying significant ecological results.

A new Prescribed Fire Cooperative (Co-op), led by the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) and supported by multiple partners, focused on private landowner training as well as sustaining and increasing Rx fire on private lands.  Efforts of the Co-op produced over 1,000 acres of new burning in addition to the accomplishments of the GFC county units.

The Nature Conservancy’s Chattahoochee Fall Line (CFL) team and the Interagency Burn Team worked together on public and private tracts within the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) area near Fort Benning burning over 4,830 acres.  This year’s CFL team included Student Conservation Association interns and military veterans.  

It is exciting to work in a region where partnerships are strong and result in good stewardship for organizations both individually and collectively!  Funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation helped support these efforts allowing partners to leverage resources and accomplish significant conservation outcomes on the ground.

IMAGE CAPTION:

Diverse partners successfully executed Rx fire across the Fall Line this past burn season.  Photo by LuAnn Craighton.