To Burn or Not to Burn: Ecological Restoration, Liability Concerns, and the Role of Prescribed Burning Associations Academic Article uri icon


  • Application of prescribed fire in fire-adapted systems often increases forage yield by stimulating vegetation and reducing competition for livestock and wildlife. Prescribed fire is an economically feasible brush control method and in most cases more effective than chemical or mechanical brush control treatments. In areas where elevated brush density has substantially suppressed the accumulation of fine fuels, the use of high-intensity or so-called extreme prescribed fire may be necessary to consume trees and reduce brush cover. Because episodic fire is a natural element of ecosystems in the Southern Plains, and the periodic use of prescribed fire is economically superior to other brush control treatments, the primary obstacle to the application of fire by land managers appears to be their perceptions that deliberately igniting fire is risky due to legal liability. Promoting the establishment and support of prescribed burn associations (PBAs) appears to be a critical approach to increasing landowner willingness and ability to apply prescribed fires.

published proceedings

  • Rangelands

author list (cited authors)

  • Toledo, D., Kreuter, U. P., Sorice, M. G., & Taylor, C. A.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Toledo, David||Kreuter, Urs P||Sorice, Michael G||Taylor, Charles A

publication date

  • January 2012