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Did Smokey Bear Get It Wrong?

March 1, 2024 | 1-2:30 p.m.

S​​mokey Bear says, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” But…is all forest fire bad? Many of us are aware that prescribed burning is crucial for restoring and maintaining native prairie ecosystems. Forest managers know that fire is just as ​important for sustaining forest ecosystems. Foresters implement prescribed fire to restore and maintain the ecological health of soil, water, air, plants, and wildlife populations. Join Michael Tiller, assistant professor of forest ecology and fire management, as we learn about fire’s role in Wisconsin’s forest​s.


This workshop is designed for LIFE members, nature enthusiasts, and landowners.


Download the presentation slides: “Did Smokey Bear Get It Wrong?​

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Michael Tiller, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Forest Ecology and Forest Management, College of Natural Resources, UW-Stevens Point

Michael grew up in northern California where he enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle hunting, fishing, camping, and skiing in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains and coastal redwoods. He enjoyed a 10-year career with Cal Fire, serving as a firefighter and fire apparatus engineer. In 2006​​​, he moved to College Station, Texas, where he attended Texas A&M University and earned a B.S. in wildlife and fisheries science. After completing his B.S. degree, he attended Stephen F. Austin State University where he earned an M.S. degree in environmental science and Ph. D. in forestry, both with a research focus on understory fuel flammability in forest and rangeland ecosystems. Michael also served for two years as a wildland urban interface specialist for the Texas A&M Forest Service, where he was actively engaged with fuels management and prescribed burning. As assistant professor of forest ecology at UW-Stevens Point he leads the fire science program and serves as an adviser for the UWSP Fire Crew.