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March 24, 2009

Harry Hampton awards grant to S.C. Prescribed Fire Council

The Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund recently awarded a $2,000 grant to the South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council to promote the benefits of prescribed burning in the Palmetto State.
"The South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council was one of the first prescribed fire councils in the nation and is one of the most productive," said Johnny Stowe, wildlife biologist and forester with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and a past chair of the prescribed fire group. "Prescribed fire is an ancient land management tool that sadly has been successfully maligned by misinformation. The South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council is actively reversing that trend."
The mission statement of the South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council is to foster cooperation among all parties in the Palmetto State with an interest in prescribed fire to optimize burning opportunities, to encourage the exchange of information, techniques and experiences among practitioners of prescribed fire and to promote public understanding of the importance and benefits of prescribed fire.
The wise use of prescribed fire improves public safety by reducing fuel loads in the forest and enhances ecosystems that require or benefit from fire. Carefully burned lands are also more aesthetically pleasing.

The Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, which awarded the grant to the Prescribed Fire Council, is a private, non-profit corporation that partners with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources for the promotion of education, research, management and the administration of game and fish laws, to benefit conservation of wildlife, marine and other natural resources in South Carolina.

Projects supported and funded by the Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund include: Hampton Fund Scholarship Programs; Jocassee Gorges Visitors Center Educational Exhibits; Camp Wildwood conservation camp; Marine Education Research Vessel Discovery, Operation Game Thief (reward program for reporting fish and game violations); Project Wild (comprehensive education program in schools); and many others.
Among the cooperators in the South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council is a collection of private organizations and individuals and state and federal agencies, including private landowners, The Nature Conservancy, S.C. Forestry Commission, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Clemson University, U.S. Forest Service, National Wild Turkey Federation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Defense, Nemours Wildlife Foundation, S.C. Forestry Association, Natural Resources Conservation Service, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, National Park Service, Plantation Managers' Association and Association of Consulting Foresters.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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