For over 20 years the South Central Regional Fire Learning Network has been a catalyst for restoration in Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. This has included the development of scientific knowledge exchanges, monitoring protocols, and current and desired ecological conditions for ecosystems across the region.
Our network is a diverse collaborative and community of practice which is integrated into the coalition of state, federal, and local partners who make up the Ozark Ouachita Interior Highlands Collaborative. Since 2001 we have been awarded over $51 million in federal funding for ecosystem restoration through sources including the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program and Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership.
Consistent support for our work has enabled projects including the 60,000-acre Woodland Ecosystem, 80,000-acre Bearcat Hollow, and 80,000-acre Happy Bat Projects on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. On the Ouachita National Forest, the Shortleaf Pine-Bluestem Restoration is one of the largest red-cockaded woodpecker restorations in the country and serves as a testing ground for landscape-scale forest restoration and climate resiliency. All restoration projects serve as demonstration sites at the national scale and host multiple local, regional, national and international field tours annually. Many of these areas have developed public engagement displays installed at key locations across a diverse range of restoration models and habitats to maintain public awareness, understanding and support for resilient forest management and restoration.