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January 4, 2017

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Life; The Role of Fire in Alabama’s Ecology (new elective and field trip)

Fire is enigmatic.  It can be catastrophic, but can also be necessary to sustain life.  It’s played an integral role in the rich biodiversity of Alabama.  Throughout history, fire has benefited humans in a myriad of ways.  Fire provides warmth and energy to cook food but is also used to clear land, manage forests and create favorable habitat for wildlife.
Many of Alabama’s unique plant communities evolved with frequent fire of low-intensity.  During many of our lifetimes, however, misguided policy has tried to exclude fire from the landscape. Our updated paradigm reveals that managed fire is an indispensable tool to preserve the health of Alabama’s ecosystems.
This class and fieldtrip will explore the paradox of fire. The many topics to be presented will bridge the divide of the ecology of fire with its practical application in Alabama’s wilds. The field trip will enable participants to experience first-hand the effects of fire in contrast to areas where it has long-been prevented in the landscape.  Those interested in the unique topic of wildland fire, or the novel mechanisms plants possess as a response to fire, will find this event informative and fascinating.

Instructors: Rachel Conley, Biologist, Westervelt Ecological Services
John McGuire, Project Manager, Westervelt Ecological Services
Saturday, March 18| 8-5 p.m.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Bibb County
Members $90 | Non-Members $100

To register visit

This class/field trip is 9 hours and approved for Three Category 1 CFE and Two Category 2 CFE. 

Refunds (minus a $15 processing fee) given if notification is made at least 10 business days prior to class start date. (You are always welcome to send another person under your registration if you cannot attend.) A $15 processing fee will be charged for class transfers at any time. We reserve the right to cancel classes due to lack of participation; if we cancel a class as such, we will issue a full refund. Please be aware that we strive to hold classes regardless of weather, so plan accordingly. In the unlikely event a class has to be cancelled due to inclement weather, we will attempt to notify you, and a refund (minus a $15 processing fee) will be issued.