Tom's Blog

Friday, February 1, 2013

The big Dubuque fire conference Jan 29-30, 2013

Kathie and I spent the past three days in Dubuque, Iowa at a big fire conference organized by the Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna (TPOS) Fire Science Consortium (see map and logo below). This organization is one of 14 regional consortia that consist of local experts that help burners get connected with managers, practitioners, and scientists working in their area. They not only provide the best fire information for each area, but they demonstrate new knowledge in the field. Although I am never sure about the various branches of the Federal government, I think these fire science consortia are funded out of the Department of Interior, mainly F & WS and BLM. How this relates to fire science in the US Forest Service (which is in the Department of Agriculture) is beyond me..

Because of the way the fire science consortia have been set up, we have two that involve the Madison area,  TPOS and the Lake States Fire Science (LSFS) Consortium. LSFS, based at Ohio State University, has been in existence for a few years and offers very good Webinars at monthly intervals. TPOS, based out of the Nelson Institute at UW-Madison, is still in its first year but with the Dubuque meeting over it is clearly off and running.

Attendance at the meeting was about 350, with attendees coming primarily from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. There were also people from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Kansas.

The program was diverse but focused on practical matters related to prescribed burns. It was a real "nuts and bolts" meeting, which was just perfect for us. I won't go through the highlights, because all the talks were good, and the program and abstracts are available on-line. Eventually, all the Power Point slides will be on the TPOS web site. Also, many of the talks were recorded, and the recordings will be used along with the slides.

Now that we are in February, it is time to get serious about burn plans. I have ours all finished and will be sending it off to the DNR sometime next week. With all the snow on the ground, it's hard to believe we will be burning soon. However, last year we did our first big burn on March 13!


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