And also the least protected and least understood, more so than the Tropical Rainforests, is the North American Tallgrass Prairie, of which, less than 1% remains (not sure why the video below shows the figure as 4%).
Without fire, the prairie and all of its associated processes, scenery, seasonal beauty, wildlife (including insects), would not exist as we know them today. In order for this unique ecosystem to remain and for us and future generations to enjoy it, our Smokey Bear-hindered fire culture must change.
As a whole, rangeland management has focused the majority of its time and energy on grazing for beef production, just like the forest industry has focused specifically on logging for timber production. Both industries, however, are here today because of fire and its long evolutionary genesis of those land-based ecosystems. It’s high time to realize fire is just as much a part of those (and over half of the world’s) natural areas as is the perennial Big Bluestem to the prairies, Douglas-fir to the forests of the Northwest, and Oak and Pine to the forests of the East and South. It is that simple process of combustion that allows ranchers, loggers, prairie enthusiasts, and visitors to national and state parks, to enjoy what they do today.
Keep on burning!
“The urge to comprehend must precede the urge to reform.” – Aldo Leopold
“America’s good fortune can’t possibly last longer than her natural resources.”
– Will Rogers