Longleaf 201 “Fire and Longleaf” in Lufkin, Texas

Longleaf 201 “Fire and Longleaf” in Lufkin, Texas

The Texas Longleaf Implementation Team sponsored Longleaf 201 “Fire and Longleaf” in Lufkin on November 14-16, 2017. We had 23 participants including landowners, consultants, and agency staff. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department assisted by hosting a one-day, hands-on prescribed burn demonstration at the Alazan Bayou WMA. Lead instructors were Ryan Mitchell and Karen Brown from the Longleaf Alliance in Andalusia, Alabama. Local instructors were Jamie Sowell, Fire Management Officer, U.S. Forest Service; Ray Hinnant, Texas A&M University, retired; Ross Carrie, consultant; and Chris Schenck and Toni Aguilar, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

A “Longleaf Social” was provided one evening with information focused on restoring Texas Native Grasslands and Forests. Forrest Smith, Director of Texas Natives, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, explained the progress they are making to restore native herbaceous plants across Texas. Dr. Eric Taylor, Texas A&M Forest Service, provided strategies to transition from a loblolly plantation system to longleaf. We heard from Robert Abernethy, Director of the Longleaf Alliance, and we had greetings from USDA-NRCS Texas Assistant State Conservationist Claude Ross and State Forester Mike Oliver.  Approximately 80 guests were treated to a marvelous steak dinner at Crown Colony Country Club, a great setting for networking and learning. Our gracious host for the evening was Rufus Duncan, local businessman and longleaf landowner.

Since 2011, the Texas Longleaf Implementation Team has sponsored and subsidized several courses: “Introduction to Longleaf” in 2011 and 2015, “Herbicides and Longleaf” in 2016, and “Fire and Longleaf” in 2017. We also sponsored the Texas Department of Agriculture Prescribed Burn Manager Training. We have provided five field days and tours with a focus on prescribed burning. Expect to hear about more training opportunities in 2018! 

Weather Underground Phone App for Burn Forecasting

Thank you to our piney woods landowners for participating in our burn training. I received a tip from Trey Whitley, Tyler County longleaf landowner. Trey and his son attended our burn training last year, and they have been lighting some of their young longleaf stands. Trey found that he could set up a “smart forecast” on the “Weather Underground” phone app. It will accept several burn parameters such as wind, temperature, and humidity, then predict the day of occurrence. Maybe some of you can figure out how to forecast additional complicated parameters, e.g. mixing height.

Texas Prescribed Burn Handbook Online

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has recently published this handbook for prescribed burners. Dr. Morgan Russell, working with Ray Hinnant, put together a nice summary to help with your burn planning.

Check out this site – thank you Mr. Hinnant and Dr. Russell.