Re: fighting brier with fire

At 11:04 AM 1/14/97 +-1100, you wrote:

>Before man came to Australia the vegetation was very different
>there was a cover of fire loving species (propagated by fire Eucalypts)
>and fire retardent species (she-oaks cassuarina, Palms etc)
>By fighting fire with fire you are ensuring the survival of fire
>loving species whilst making fire-sensitive species less abundant.

This is a little late but...
The North American midwest contains a more humid version of a fire
ecosystem, the so called Savanah of mixed open grown Oak and Hickory (at a
density of about 1 per acre)  plus adapted grasses and forbs.  Many areas of
South west Wisconsin where I live still have  these ecosystems fairly intact
and they are marvolusly productive for the local deer and turkey.  They are
also, of course lovely.   Burns I have conducted in these ecosystems seem to
help improve the viggor of the grasses under the trees and allowed an
excellent seeding oprotunity.  Observable diversity increased after burns as
the fire lovers re-emereged. Fire on these small scale sites didn't set the
invading bushes (honeysuckle and Prickly ash) back much at all.  I guess my
point is that small scale burning may not mimic large scale range fires in
their power to set back brush etc.  Man made fire is indeed, unnatural, but
it is also often surprisingly controlable in expirianced hands.  My usual
problem with prairie burns is trouble getting them going, not too much
ecosystem change.
 My grazing theory folks here at school recomend treeless pasture for cattle
to avoit nutruient transfr around these trees.  I guess I follow the logic,
but I keep thinking about those lovely Oaks.  Are we all missing something