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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:

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.

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The mission of the Forest Service's Northern Research Station is to improve people’s lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit


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Last modified: April 18, 2011