Revitalizing Forests and Keeping Communities Safe with Prescribed Fire 3


The Moore Charitable Foundation (MCF) promotes the use of prescribed burning to restore forests, maintain clean water and lower the risk of wildfire.

Fire is essential to maintaining healthy forests. Prescribed burning, also called controlled burning, is the practice of deliberately setting and carefully managing fires under strict conditions approved and monitored by firefighting professionals. A centuries-old tradition, today the resurging practice is used to protect and refresh forests by removing the dense vegetation build-up in a forest’s understory that fuels large wildfires. This practice also allows for indigenous plants and wildlife to thrive, restoring a more natural and diverse ecosystem.

Widespread public service campaigns like Smokey Bear conditioned many Americans to think all fire is bad. That mindset led to years of suppression that built-up of dangerous amounts of debris on forest floors, helping to fuel catastrophic wildfires from Florida to the Pacific Northwest that burned 8.4 million acres in 2017 alone.

Mitigating wildfire risk in the West

In New Mexico and Colorado, MCF works with non-profit organizations that help communities mitigate their wildfire risk through forest health and watershed best practices, including prescribed burning. We are proud members of The Nature Conservancy New Mexico’s Rio Grande Water Fund, a public-private initiative that is protecting forests and water for 1 million people in northern New Mexico and boosting local economies by creating jobs and wood for products. The project is also generating a sustainable source of funding for a 20-year program to restore 600,000 acres of forest north of Albuquerque, much of it through controlled burns.

We also work to encourage gainful employment for local youth and young adults through conservation-based projects that include fire management. Our support of groups such as the Forest Stewards Guild and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps helps to provide on-the-job training in burning techniques, for the benefit of local forests and downstream water resources.