Resource Management

SabineFire-Billiotx512

Over the past five years, there have been an average of 6 wildfires for 7,773 acres and 3 prescribed fires for 7,747 acres annually at Sabine. That's over 15,000 acres annually burned!


The management goals for Sabine National Wildlife Refuge are to:

  • maintain and perpetuate refuge wetlands for wintering waterfowl
  • provide for the needs of endangered plants and animals
  • allow compatible public uses, such as hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife observation, and photography
  • promote research on marsh and aquatic wildlife
There have been numerous Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act projects completed on the refuge, with the goal of restoring wetlands. These projects include marsh creation, shoreline protection, earthen terracing, and water control structures. These control structures were placed on the refuge to lesson saltwater intrusion and along with improved water management practices are attempting to reverse or slow habitat losses. Sabine was established to protect and provide habitat for migratory waterfowl. Today water level management and prescribed marsh burning still aim at providing quality habitat for waterfowl, but these practices also take other species into account.

Fire Management Program

 

     

    Prescribed fire is used to periodically rejuvenate marsh habitat by restarting plant succession and increasing plant productivity. Prescribed fire is the use of purposefully started fire by trained fire management specialists. 

    Fire is used as a multipurpose management tool to reduce hazardous fuels and promote habitat diversity. Without periodic prescribed burns by refuge staff the wildfires that occur on the refuge would be more difficult to manage, leading to destruction of refuge habitat as well as threatening nearby properties not on the refuge itself.  Wildfire is fire started by natural causes such as lightning.

     

    Over the past five years, there has been an average of 6 wildfires for 7,773 acres and 3 prescribed fires for 7,747 acres annually at Sabine. That's over 15,000 acres annually burned. The vast majority of wildfires that occur on Sabine are due to lightning strikes.