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Fire Management Assessment of the Highland Ecosystems of the Dominican Republic

Myers, Ronald L.; O'Brien, J.; Mehlman, David; Bergh, Chris

During 7–14 July 2003, a team of fire management and fire ecology experts visited Madre de las Aguas Conservation Area (Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve, Juan B. Pérez Rancier National Park) and Sierra de Bahoruco National Park to assess the fire issues facing the Hispaniolan pine forest ecosystem, and associated savannas and cloud forests, in the Dominican Republic.

The objectives for the assessment were:

  1. Gather information on the fire management needs and issues facing the ecosystems of the central highlands and Sierra de Bahoruco of the Dominican Republic.
  2. Assess current fire regimes and evaluate evidence of fire effects. Discuss whether the fire regimes are significantly altered from what is believed to be appropriate to maintain the ecological integrity and dynamics of these ecosystems.
  3. Develop a list of research needs and information gaps.
  4. Evaluate fire management planning and training needs.
  5. Identify other threats related to fire, e.g., invasive species and land use issues.
  6. Identify projects and programs that could be developed and implemented by The Nature Conservancy, its NGO and bilateral partners, and the Dominican government to reduce the threat of altered fire regimes in the Central Highlands.
  7. Identify land management staff who could participate in training courses, exchanges, and mentoring programs.
  8. Provide fire managers and conservation specialists in the Dominican Republic with recommendations on strategy and actions to reduce the threat of altered fire regimes.
  9. Propose and discuss the possibility of holding a Fire Learning Network workshop in the Dominican Republic on fire in highland pine and savanna ecosystems in the Latin America.