Fire Science Interpretive Signs: Hoosier National Forest - Oak Fire Science

Land managers in the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana are using prescribed fire in some areas in an effort to reverse a trend that is threatening historical ecosystems and the plants and animals that depend on them.


Sign Location latitude/longitude: 39.02, -86.45

Fire has shaped Indiana’s landscape. Historically dominant tree species, like oaks and hickories, are not regenerating and are being replaced with moisture-loving, shade-tolerant trees like maples and beech. This is due primarily to fire suppression during the last century, and these emerging forest conditions hold lower value for wildlife and timber. Prescribed fire can help to maintain traditional habitat for dozens of bird species and other wildlife.

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Sign Location latitude/longitude: 38.32, -86.66

Regenerating Indiana’s historical landscapes. This sign is located viewing a picturesque hillside that the US Forest Service is managing with prescribed fire and tree thinning. In this area, fire suppression has led to dominant growth of shade loving tree such as beech and maple, to the detriment of historical species like fire-tolerant oak and hickory. Use of fire is helping to re-establish ecosystems once prevalent in Indiana.

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The “Regenerating Indiana’s historical landscapes” sign, which can be viewed while walking the Birdseye Trail, is shown here facing north (left photo) and facing west.

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