Partnership Leads to Reduction of Risk for Homeowners

Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge - 2003

A recent independent review of fire risk to homes and buildings in St. Tammany Parish showed that the community assistance provided by Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge has significantly reduced the risk of wildland fires in the community.

"This shows that when we work together to tackle tough problems, we can make a difference," said P. Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget. "In this case, not only have we improved habitat for wildlife using prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction, but also helped reduce fire risk."

St. Tammany Parish has historically been one of the two parishes in Louisiana with the largest wildfire occurrence. Since 1999 Big Branch Marsh refuge has partnered with the St. Tammany Fire Protection District #3 as part of its comprehensive fire program for the refuge. Over the past two years, the Service has provided the fire department with $10,000 in Rural Fire Assistance grants to equip and train the professional and volunteer crews in wildland fire fighting techniques. Cooperative wildland urban interface projects such as prescribed burning and mechanical removal of brush help protect the community from uncontrolled wildland fires.

Contact: Mark Jamieson, Southeast Louisiana Refuges, 985/882-2031

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