Big Cypress National Preserve "Hall of Shame"
Poorly Prescribed "Burns"

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This is your Healthy Big Cypress Swamp Pine Head

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This is your Pine Head  One Year after a BCNP Prescribed "Burn". This Burned too hot, this "Burn" got up in the tops of the trees and killed 60 to 80 percent of the trees.

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This is your Healthy Big Cypress Swamp Pine Head

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This is your Pine Head, Two Years after a BCNP Prescribed "Burn". The fires were so hot, that they incinerated the pine cones and no new pine trees have started to grow in this area.
 

Any Questions?

 

Prescribed "Burns" are actually good for the Big Cypress Swamp, when they are done right. Wild fires are a natural event that keeps nature in balance. Natural fires are caused by lightning. Lightning happens during thunderstorms, when it is raining or about to rain. This is during the wet time of the year. Because of the rain and the wet time of the year, these wild fires are of low intensity.  The "Burned" off areas promote new growth of pine trees, browse for animals and the under brush is kept to a manageable size. A low intensity fire, pops open the pine cones and provides the seeds the opportunity to germinate and grow. In the days before BCNP, landowners would do low intensity "Burns", Quail were abundant, Turkeys thrived in the newly "Burned" areas. Deer used these areas for browse.

Unfortunately the BCNP thinks it can do better then nature and this is when nature pays the price. The BCNP has done many "Burns" at the wrong time. They created "Burns" that "Burned" too hot, these "Burns" got up in the tops of the trees and killed 60 to 80 percent of the trees. The remaining ones are stunted and struggling to live. Worst then that, the fires were so hot, that they incinerated the pine cones and no new trees have started to grow in the areas these pictures were taken. Quail are just about non-existent in the Big Cypress now. The areas in these pictures were not wild fires, outdoorsmen I am acquainted with, witnessed the BCNP starting these as prescribed burns.


This page modified Jan 27, 2002