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Project ID: 13-1-06-8

Year: 2013

Date Started: 01/01/2014

Date Completed: 07/19/2017

Title: Managing Fuels While Enhancing Prairie Chicken Habitat

Project Proposal Abstract: The proposed project addresses Task Statement 6: Compatibility of fire, fuels and rehabilitation treatments with T&E gallinaceous birds of JFSP Project Announcement FA-FON0013-0001. Our proposal targets multiple research needs that are important to managers and directly addresses questions posed in this task statement: 1)We focus on two of the most imperiled prairie grouse species on JFSs species list in the task statement, the lesser prairie chicken and Attwaters prairie chicken. 2)We study landscape scale fuels treatments across a broad geographic range that includes six research sites, four states (KS, NM, OK, TX), three plant communities, and five natural resource agencies. 3)We evaluate the impact of two fuels management treatments on prairie chicken habitat  prescribed fire followed by grazing deferment, which is set to become the dominant fuels reduction treatment on public lands in the southern Great Plains, and patch-burning, which creates a fire-grazing interaction that mimics the historical processes that contributed to heterogeneity in grassland structure and function. 4)We evaluate and compare changes in fire suppression capabilities over time for each of our treatments (fire alone vs. fire-grazing interaction). 5)We hypothesize patch-burning will be more effective as both a fuels reduction treatment and a conservation strategy for prairie chickens. 6)Agency managers have provided extensive input in this proposal to ensure our research objectives target the most pressing issues related to wildfire, fuels management, and prairie chicken conservation. We will continue to work directly with these agency members to provide long-term, on-site exhibits and demonstration tours that educate the general public, fuels managers, and conservation practitioners on our research findings. 7)The proposed research contributes to the mission of the JFSP Great Plains regional fire consortium. We will work with the Great Plains regional consortium to disseminate our research findings and outreach material to the fire science and management community. The proposed project tests the potential for the fire and grazing interaction to serve as a management strategy that benefits both fuels reduction and prairie-chicken habitat objectives. We will first initiate landscape-scale field experiments across four states in the southern Great Plains to collect data on how fuel properties and prairie-chicken habitat characteristics respond to patch-burning (i.e. fire and grazing) and prescribed fire alone (i.e. fire followed by grazing deferment).

Principal Investigator: Robert D. Elmore Ph.D.

Agency/Organization: Oklahoma State University

Branch or Dept: Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Karen L. Whitworth

Oklahoma State University

Division of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources

Budget Contact

Hollie R. Schreiber

Oklahoma State University

Division of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Samuel D. Fuhlendorf

Oklahoma State University

Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management

Co-Principal Investigator

Torre J. Hovick

Oklahoma State University

Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management

Co-Principal Investigator

Eric T. Thacker

Utah State University

Department of Wildland Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Dirac L. Twidwell

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Agronomy and Horticulture

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Plains










Interior West


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   125 Ph.D. Dissertation Restoration of Pyric Herbivory Impacts Fuels Management and Prairie-Chicken Conservation
  go to website 357 MS Thesis Complex vegetation dynamics at the fire, grazing, drought nexus
view or print   7919 Final Report Summary Final Report Summary
view or print go to website 7915 Final Report Supplement Patch-Burning Reduces Fuels and is Compatible with Prairie-Chicken Conservation
view or print go to website 7916 Final Report Supplement Synthesis on the effects of fire on lesser prairie-chickens.
view or print go to website 7917 Poster Conservation-Oriented Fuels Management
view or print go to website 7918 Training Session Fire and Prairie-Chickens

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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