Argumentative Essay for or against the Idea of Using Controlled Fires to Protect Wild Areas

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Fire is a natural process in rangelands and its ecological effects and interactions with abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem impact its function. Many rangelands have evolved with fire as a fundamental contributor to habitat vitality and renewal. In fire-affected ecosystems, many plant species need a fire to germinate, grow, or reproduce. The elimination of wildfires does not only kill these plants but also the animals that rely on them. Fire has vital beneficial effects on the flora and fauna of savanna which are affected by fire regimes. Thus, I support the idea of using controlled fires to protect wild areas and believe that rangeland managers can manipulate the productivity of rangelands and animals by the usage of the suitable burning frequency and season, and type of fire.

The use of fire ought to be organized cautiously in advance, and rest intervals ought to be implemented after its use where viable. To get the full benefits, prescribed burning ought to be integrated with different grazing management techniques. The use of fire to enhance livestock and wildlife habitats in rangelands may additionally supply a cost-effective and ecologically sound alternative to the current methods of managing rangelands. There is a need to verify the advantages of prescribed burning and provide extra proof of the advantages of prescribed burning to rangeland and animal productivity.

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Fire suppression, in conjunction with other human-caused environmental changes, may have unintended effects on natural ecosystems. Several major U.S. wildfires have been blamed for years of fire suppression and continued human expansion into fire-adapted habitats, but climate change is more likely to be responsible (Westerling et al., 2006). Rangeland managers are confronted with tough questions regarding how to restore a natural fire regime, however permitting wildfires to burn is the least costly and likely most effective method (Noss et al., 2006).

The combination of heavy livestock grazing and fire-suppression structure has significantly changed the composition and diversity of the short grass prairie ecosystem in the Great Plains, allowing for the dominance of woody species areas and promoting invasive species which are fire-intolerant. Where the decomposition of woody material is slow in semi-arid environments, fire is crucial in the restoration of nutrients to the soil and allowing the grasslands to retain their high productivity. Fire can be used to promote growth out of season, as seen by late winter vleis burning to provide an early winter flush (Dube et al., 2006). This is also regularly practiced in summer and late autumn to supply green grazing for livestock. Plant productivity can be influenced by means of the use of fire to favor desirable plant life or to minimize the abundance of unpalatable species. Improvement of palatability and nutritive value of the present grazing and browse can be performed with the aid of the appropriate use of fire (Dube et al., 2006).

Although fire can occur in rising or dormant seasons at some point, controlled fire during the dormant season is most positive in increasing grass and forb cover, biodiversity, and plant nutrient absorption in short grass prairies (Brockway et al., 2002). In addition, however, rangeland managers should bear in mind how invasive and non-native species respond to fire if they favor preserving the value of a natural ecosystem. For example, in the summer, fire can control only the invasive spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) on the Michigan tall grass prairie because this is the time in the life cycle of the knapweed that is most essential for its reproductive growth (Emery & Gross, 2005).

Properly monitored and maintained, fire can be a powerful resource for managing plant composition, structure, and fuel loads on rangelands and other wild earth ecosystems. Regulated fire can establish and sustain a community of plant species in suitable country areas, providing essential ecological solutions that enhance most of the other resources of the country mixed conifer forests in the U.S. Sierra Nevada used to have fire-return periods ranging from 5 years to 300 years, depending on local conditions. Lower elevations had more frequent fire return periods, while higher and wetter elevations had periods between fires that were much longer. Native Americans appeared to set fires in the autumn and winter, and the land at higher altitudes was normal (Anderson & Morratto, 1996).

The loss in habitat proximity and sustainability and others have led the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to list several species populations on the Red List. According to a study on rangeland management of Finnish boreal forests, optimizing the habitat quality of areas outside reserves could perhaps aid in the conservation work of threatened extinction beetles completely reliant on deadwood. Some beetles and other forms of fungi both want dead trees in order to survive. Old-growth range lands can provide this unique habitat. However, most Fennos Canadian boreal range lands are used for timber and consequently are unprotected (Hyvarinen et al., 2006). The use of managed burning and tree retention of a rangeland with deadwood was studied and its impact on the endangered beetles. The study found that after the first 12 months of management, the number of species accelerated in abundance and richness in contrast to pre-fire treatment. The abundance of beetles continued to enlarge the following year in sites where tree retention used to be excessive and deadwood used to be plentiful. A key to the survival of these Red Listed species is the connection between rangeland fire management and increased beetle populations (Hyvarinen et al., 2006).

Fire affects soil moisture, temperature, fertility, infiltration rates, and water-holding capacity. This, in return, promotes seed germination and regeneration of desired plants. Old-growth eucalypt woodlands in Australia are designated for conservation. Management of these forests is necessary due to the fact species like Eucalyptus grandees depend on fire to survive. There are a few eucalypt species that do not have a lignotuber, a root swelling shape that incorporates buds where new shoots can then sprout. During a fire, a lignotuber is beneficial in the reestablishment of the plant. Some eucalypts do not have this unique mechanism, woodland fire management can be beneficial by creating rich soil, killing competitors, and permitting seeds to be released (Tng et al., 2014).

Society has traditionally molded public opinion to consider that wildfires are continually detrimental to nature. This view is primarily based on the old-fashioned belief that ecosystems develop towards equilibrium and that any disturbance, such as fire, disrupts the harmony of nature. More current ecological research has however shown that fire is a fundamental component in the characteristic and biodiversity of range lands functioning as natural ecosystems, and adaptation of species within those societies to natural wildfire, as well as their ability to withstand, and even exploit. More generally, fire is now seen as an 'ordinary' disruption, similar to floods, storms of wind, and landslides, which has driven species evolution and maintains ecosystem characteristics.

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Argumentative Essay for or against the Idea of Using Controlled Fires to Protect Wild Areas. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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