Feature Explores Impact of and Recovery from Texas Fires

Writing on The Conversation, Karen Hickman, a grassland ecologist at Oklahoma State University and president of the Society for Range Management, explained why the fires in Texas spread so fast, the risks to livestock, and how quickly these ecosystems can recover. She discusses how invasive species can increase fire intensity, but how fire can also be a management tool for controlling invasive species. Hickman also notes the risk of introducing and spreading invasives contained in donated feed or feed brought from other areas. She notes that range areas with perennial species could recover quickly, as plants sprout within a matter of weeks. However, ranchers face a need to feed animals during that time, and many will need to replace watering systems and infrastructure.
Related ATTRA blog: A Tale of Two Pastures: Pasture Response to Catastrophic Events