Restoration through fire

‘Restoring large-scale grasslands with fire and cultural willpower’

Tuesday 05 April 2022
15:00 UK time / 10:00 Eastern time


Minhyuk Seo, British Ecological Society


Dr Caleb Roberts, USGS

T. J. Walker, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Dillon Fogarty, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

About the workshop

Of all terrestrial biomes, grasslands are losing the most biodiversity the most rapidly. But in the Loess Canyons ecoregion of the Great Plains, USA, an association of private ranchers and natural resource agencies is combatting the loss of grasslands to woody plant encroachment by restoring large-scale, intense fire regimes – and they are succeeding at unprecedented scales.

In this workshop, Caleb Roberts, T. J. Walker, and Dillon Fogarty will discuss the science behind this success, practical approaches to harnessing fire and cultural willpower to restore grasslands on private lands, and outcomes from the restoration in the Loess Canyons.

This workshop follows Caleb and his team’s recently published Practice Insights article in Ecological Solutions and Evidence.

About the speakers

Caleb Roberts is a research ecologist studying ecological resilience, landscapes and invasive species. He is an Assistant Unit Leader at the Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Geological Survey, and has published scientific articles in Nature Climate Change and Biological Conservation as well as creative non-fiction at and The Fourth River. Caleb is from Kentucky but lives in Arkansas with his wife, daughter, and cat.

T. J. Walker is an Assistant Administrator of the Wildlife Division, Habitat Partners Section at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He oversees 65 (and growing) team members that work with landowners to create or enhance wildlife habitat on private lands, much of which takes place on working lands rangeland. With 20 years of experience in private lands conservation, he has also conducted monitoring for American burying beetles, prairie grouse and grassland songbirds in various grassland landscapes in Nebraska. Tying research to management planning and to conservation is a focus for him and his team.

Dillon Fogarty is a Ph.D. candidate and program coordinator for working lands conservation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research focuses on grassland ecology and management. As a coordinator for working lands conservation, Dillon works to bridge gaps between scientists and land managers.


Watch the workshop here


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