Category Archives: Prescribed Burning

Published to Pasture…Soil Health!

Soil Health…kind of catchy, right?!  I agree.  And, so do thousands of other range managers and landowners.  It’s the buzz word of the century and it’s here to stay.  So what do we know about soil health and how the heck can our ranchers use it? Today, we will be looking at 2 relatively recent articles on soil health.  First, “Usable Science: Soil Health” written by Justin Derner, Chuck Stanley, and Chad Ellis.  Secondly, we will look at “Soil Health as a Transformational Change Agent for US Grazing… Read More →

Published to Pasture…Liability and Prescribed Fire: Perception and Reality (EPPBA)

In 2017, a group of prescribed fire researchers (including me!) set out to answer the age-old question…is prescribed fire liability…prescribed fire’s scapegoat?  Check out this work that talks about the Edwards Plateau Prescribed Burn Association escape prescribed fire lawsuit here. (J.R.Weir,U.P.Kreuter,C.L.Wonkka,etal.,LiabilityandPrescribedFire:PerceptionandReality,RangelandEcology&Management, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.11.010) Although use of prescribed fire by private landowners in the southern Great Plains has increased during the past 30 yr, studies have determined that liability concerns are a major reason why many landowners do not use or promote the use of prescribed fire. Generally, perceptions of… Read More →

Outside the Fire…Chris Schenck

Chris Schenck works as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Statewide Fire Program Leader for the Wildlife Division.  He also serves on the Texas Department of Agriculture Prescribed Burn Board and, most importantly, he is a friend, colleague, and admirably passionate about fire’s role on Texas rangelands. How did you get introduced to fire? In 1979 as a college student at Utah State University (the other Aggies), I got a summer job as a Fire Prevention Technician on the Wasatch Cache National Forest. The long time Fire Management… Read More →

Published to Pasture…Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management

In 2018, Wilmer and others published “Collaborative adaptive rangeland management foster management-science partnerships” in Rangeland Ecology and Management (check it out here).  I really valued this paper, because fostering management-science relationships is what Extension is all about! This paper is a case study, based on qualitative social data collected from meeting notes and interview transcripts recorded from ranchers and agency representatives in a Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) study. In this synthetic assessment, they explored to what extent participation in the CARM experiment enabled adaptive decision making by… Read More →

Outside the Fire…Justin Penick Acorn Forestry

Acorn Forestry is a full service forestry company specializing in reforestation, wildland firefighting, forest management and mid-rotation services in Lufkin, Texas. All services are provided to private landowners, consultants and companies with an emphasis on quality and accountability.  Basically, they are experts in prescribed burning!  I first met owner/operator Justin Penick at the Texas Department of Agriculture Prescribed Burn Board meeting and instantly respected him for his many talents and abilities.  Justin is one of the very best in the state and in the nation when it comes to… Read More →

Outside the Fire…Dr. Bill Rogers

Do you remember a certain professor/teacher/mentor that just naturally pushed you to think differently or harder? Someone that encouraged you to see beyond the data and critically look at theories, ideas, and concepts, and not that you had to or were forced to, but because you were actually excited to? Meet Dr. Bill Rogers, a Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A&M University. Dr. Rogers’ and his research team recently received funding from the Joint Fire Sciences Program to analyze resprouting characteristics of… Read More →

Outside the Fire…Marcy Epperson

I am a huge fan of ranching women, because I know that a woman who ranches also raises a family, keeps the books, cooks, cleans, and is just as busy in her community as she is checking livestock and tending to horses.  George Strait said it best, “how bout them cowgirls”!  This month, I want to introduce you to an exceptional lady – Marcy Epperson.  Marcy and her family ranch outside of Rocksprings and she recently successfully completed her Texas Department of Agriculture Certified and Insured Prescribed Burn… Read More →

Outside the Fire…Dr. Doug Tolleson

Dr. Butch Taylor loves the Sonora Experiment Station dearly, and another person who loves it just as much is Dr. Doug Tolleson. It seems only appropriate that we follow Dr. Taylor’s words of wisdom with Dr. Tolleson’s. How did you get introduced to fire? Early in life, we would burn pastures periodically to “clean them up” and at scout camp we would help dig line to contain small forest fires. Professionally, I would help Keith Owens and his crew at the Uvalde Experiment Station and then Jim Ansley… Read More →

Outside the Fire…Dr. Butch Taylor

If you have ever heard of prescribed burning in Texas, then I am sure you have heard of thee Dr. Butch Taylor.  He goes by Dr. Charles A. Taylor, Jr. on his numerous publications (I’m telling you folks, he wrote the book, literally).  Butch is a tremendous friend, mentor, and colleague and I hope you enjoy his story as much as I have.  We could all learn something from Butch. How did you get introduced to fire? Fire was first presented to me as a viable range management option… Read More →

Why I Ranch…Dr. Jake Landers

Dr. Jake Landers After a 30-year career with Extension, I hope I have half the brains, sanity, and passion that my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Jake Landers possesses.  Dr. Landers set the bar pretty dang high and it is an honor to learn from him in the pasture and in the classroom.  As I said in an earlier post, Dr. Landers morphed into a Range Father of mine overnight.  The second I met him he was my hero. Dr. Jake Landers served as an Extension Range Specialist… Read More →