The fire ecology program for the Central Great Plains region, embedded within the Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Network (HTLN), is multifaceted. It serves as an integrating factor among the vital signs projects already in place within HTLN as well as integrating HTLN into the Midwest Region Fire programs.
Sampling methods used are a hybrid of those described in the HTLN vegetation monitoring protocol and the NPS Fire Monitoring Handbook. The fire ecology program has adapted the protocols described in the Fire Monitoring Handbook to synchronize with the existing sample site array established by HTLN. In this way, both short-term fire ecology data and long-term vegetation monitoring data are collected in a complementary fashion
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