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Jane Hodgins
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Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference to Focus on Managing Oak Woodlands and Savannas

COLUMBIA, MO, April 18, 2011 - The U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station and partners will present the fourth Fire in the Eastern Oak Forests Conference on May 17-19, 2011, in Springfield, Mo. Sixteen presentations on the theme of “Managing Oak Woodlands and Savannas in the Forest-Prairie Region” will be offered as part of the conference.

The Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference is a major symposium focused on fire in oak forests, woodlands and savannas. Noted experts in research and management will present state-of-the-art information, perspectives and synthesis on key issues. The conference is held once every 3 to 5 years; the most-recent conference was held in 2008. This symposium is designed for managers, scientists, landowners, consultants and students and will emphasize topics relevant to managing oak-dominated forests, woodlands and savannas.

The presentations and posters offered by scientists and managers will address topics including:

  • Restoring oak woodlands and savannas in the Cross Timbers Region, the Ozark Highlands, and Midwestern landscapes
  • Natural and fire history of the Ozark Highland Region
  • Human history, culture, and fire-use in the Ozark Highland Region
  • The history and current use of fire in natural resource public agencies in the Midwest
  • Patch grazing in woodlands and savannas to simulate the role of large ungulates
  • Ecosystem services and climate change adaptation
  • The role of fire in the southern Appalachian Region during the Holocene
  • Fire effects on bats and reptiles
  • Managing woodlands and savannas for songbirds
  • Invasive species in woodland and savanna restoration
  • Wildlife habitat restoration and maintenance

The conference will be held at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Springfield, Mo., and will include 2 days of presentations by speakers and a field trip day. More information is available at the conference website: http://muconf.missouri.edu/easternfire/

Registration is $175 and includes breaks, lunches, one conference dinner and a conference program. Registration is $75 for students.

Key sponsors and supporters of this conference include: U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station; U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry; Joint Fire Science Program; U.S. Forest Service, Mark Twain National Forest; Missouri Department of Natural Resources; National Park Service, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; and Missouri State University.

Participation in the Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference counts as 17 contact hours in Category I Organized Activities for The Wildlife Society’s certified wildlife biologist renewal/professional development certificate program, and 17 credit hours in Category I in the Society of American Foresters’ continuing forestry education program.