Many years of human intervention, logging, overgrazing, and fire suppression have altered the structure and function of forest ecosystems in the Greater Gila Bioregion. Coupled with rapidly changing climate and housing development in the wildland-urban interface, these impacts critically endanger Southwestern forests. Fire is an essential element in forest renewal and its use as a management tool to prevent uncharacteristic fires is a key recommendation in forest management.
Southwestern forests evolved with fire. Without it, ecosystem processes and relationships are severely compromised. Despite growing awareness of the importance of wildfire, fire continues to be suppressed at significant economic and environmental cost.
WildEarth Guardians works on fire policy nationally and locally to ensure that this vital ecosystem process is not excluded where it can be used safely to restore forests. The Gila National Forest in the Gila Bioregion has been actively using both prescribed wildland fire to meet resource management goals for decades because of its remote and wild character. The Gila National Forest has pioneered this healthy management practice.
See our report "Born of Fire: The National Fire Plan in the Southwest."
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