The Chattahoochee Fall Line Prescribed Fire Cooperative began as a concept in 2015. Several state, federal, private and non-governmental partners worked together to launch this project. It was established in October of 2017 with the hiring of the Prescribed Fire Center Coordinator. The goal of the Co-Op is to increase the frequency, quality, and quantity of prescribed fire on private lands. A secondary goal is to establish a training center that will facilitate classroom and hands-on training events.
We are burning 4% of the forested acres currently in this area. The Co-Op has set a goal of increasing that to 6% or an additional 20,000 acres. With a long term goal of reaching 20%-30%.
Plans for the Co-Op
The current and future plan of the Co-Op is to listen to the needs of our local landowners. West Central Georgia is the focal area of the project. The primary benefit is to increase the number of acres burned that will enhance native ecosystems and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. When we talked to local landowners we discovered that many are unaware of current programs and/or services. This lead to the establishment of the West Central Georgia Forest Landowners Association (WCGFLA). Landowners can join the association for free by liking the Facebook page www.facebook.com/WCGFLA or by requesting to be added to the e-mail list. To be added to the email list please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. At WCGFLA meetings and events we surveyed local landowners to find out what barriers have been encountered and prevented fire from reaching the ground. The most frequent reasons raised were lack of equipment, technical assistance, cost-share and education/training. The Co-Op has utilized strong partnerships in the area to address these barriers.
West Central Georgia Prescribed Burn Trailer
Our West Central Georgia Prescribed Burn Trailer helps solve some of the equipment needs. It was assembled without the use of state or federal funds. Local vendors and private donations resulted in a turnkey setup that is currently available to rent for $100 per day. The tools and equipment inside the trailer were purchased after consulting with local landowners. Trailers similar to this are currently being developed in other parts of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.
- Click here to find more information about the West Central Georgia Prescribed Burning Trailer.
The Prescribed Fire Center Coordinator is an extra resource in the West Central Georgia area. The Co-Op offers professional advice on many prescribed fire issues. Technical assistance comes in many forms and can be confusing to some landowners. The Co-Op will be glad to help eliminate any barriers that you may encounter to applying prescribed fire. However, we don’t stop at the prescribed fire because we are sure that as landowners continue to learn about forest management prescribed fire will become a vital tool in the future. The Co-Op often serves as a bridge to other local partners that can assist with specific land stewardship needs.
Cost Share Opportunities
Lack of cost share funding was the #1 barrier most landowners run into while trying to implement a prescribed burn. The Co-Op developed the West Central Georgia Prescribed Fire Initiative to help with this problem. In FY 2020, 72 private landowners received over $73,000 to burn over 6500 acres. Feedback from FY 2020 applicants helped improve the FY 2021 initiative. Applications will be accepted for FY 2021 funds from 10/15/2020 – 11/30/2020. The initiative will
pay $15.00 per acre (max 150 acres) for approved privately owned forested land, burned in Chattahoochee, Harris, Macon, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot and Taylor Counties. This initiative focuses on increasing bobwhite quail and gopher tortoise habitat.
The FY2021 WCG Rx Fire Initiative is funded again this year by National Fish and Wildlife Grants, GDNR’s Bobwhite Quail Initiative and Landscape Scale Restoration Grants. These great partners along with a NEW developing partnership with the Longleaf Alliance is slated to impact over 12,000 acres in the West Central Georgia area in FY2021.
- Click this link to view the flyer on Applicant’s Information Guidelines.
- Click here if you would like to complete an application.
Training will always be an important part of the prescribed fire application and the Co-Op offers several options. We offer local prescribed fire certification classes to ensure our landowners can obtain a state certification if desired. We offer three live-fire training opportunities, Learn & Burns, Live Fire Demonstrations, and Landowner Field Trips (LFT).
Learn & Burns
Learn & Burns allow landowners to meet local professionals and ask questions during the implementation of a live prescribed burn. During these events, landowners can install fire breaks, write a burn plan, hold a drip torch, and put fire on the ground. During these events, experienced professionals will answer any questions and ensure the safety of all.
Live fire demonstrations are often shorter events lasting 2-4 hours and is split into a short classroom style presentation followed by a tram ride or short walk to watch a live prescribed fire. Last is the LFT program this is a small scale event that would be considered a blend of a learn & burn and a live-fire demonstration.
Landowners will be able to attend a planned burn on another private landowner’s property or one of our local partner lead burns. The duration and detail of the event can be tailored to meet each participant’s needs. As a participant you will request the timing, type or size burn you would like to see. When a similar burn is going to take place the Prescribed Fire Center Coordinator will contact you with event details. Willing private landowners can also sign up to use their property as a location for these events.
|FY21 WCG Rx Fire Applicants Information|
This cost-share program is focused on reintroducing prescribed fire in the Chattahoochee Fall Line area of Georgia to provide ecological benefits and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. The program will be implemented by the Georgia Forestry Commission with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, American Forest Foundation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Bobwhite Quail Initiative, Landscape Scale Restoration Grant, and other partners.
|Landowner Field Trips Flyer Revised (10-01-20)|
Would you like to see a live prescribed burn or visit a site that has been burned to see what it looks like afterward? Then Landowner Field Trip (LFT) is perfect for you. When our agency partners and volunteer landowners are conducting a prescribed burn, we will give you a guided tour of a burn.
|Learn & Burn Flyer|
More information on Learn & Burns
|RX Burn Trailer Flyer|
A trailer containing tools which supplement and assist landowners in conducting safe prescribed burning is now available for rent through the Georgia Forestry Commission. The West Central Georgia Forest Landowners Association initiated the idea to provide local forestland managers with professional equipment needed to conduct safer and more efficient prescribed burns. The trailer and tools are also used at training events for private landowners.