Fire and the Wilderness Purpose
DOI link for Fire and the Wilderness Purpose
Fire and the Wilderness Purpose book
The Forest Service is revising its wilderness fire management policy to permit prescribed fires ignited by trained professionals to be used in wilderness areas to meet wilderness resource objectives. The revised policy would provide more timely restoration of wilderness characteristics than the current policy of waiting for the work to be totally accomplished by lightning fires—an unpredictable approach at best. A constant interplay of forces like fire, wind, flood, disease, or more subtle effects of natural plant succession and animal population fluctuations, represent an integrated biological dynamism, which most aptly distinguishes natural condition. Many people argue that contributors need to use scheduled fire to compensate for the lightning fires that have been controlled or as a substitute for natural fire in the areas where natural fire would endanger surrounding resources or property. Some believe that stand replacement or "catastrophic" fires, even though natural, were undesirable and damaging to wilderness because of their severe esthetic impact.