Latest On The Conservation Gateway

A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!

Interpretive Panels: Controlled Burning in the Heart of the Appalachians

Marek Smith
link DOWNLOAD FILE: interpretive panel

In 2014, partners in the Heart of the Appalachians landscape (VA/WV) of the Central Appalachians Fire Learning Network developed a set of four interpretive signs. These signs have been placed at Douthat State Park, Warm Springs Mountain Preserve, and Hidden Valley Dispersed Recreation Area to help interpret sites with various histories of controlled burns. 

The signs include messages about the historic role of fire in the Appalachians, fire history research, plant and wildlife benefits of controlled burns, fuel reduction benefits of controlled burns, fire teams and safety. These messages, many of which are repeated across sites, were refined from those developed as part of the TNC Fire Communications Kit (2012), with some locally adapted messages and content (fire history, etc.) being unique to the location and/or systems in which they were installed. Messages and graphics also closely mirrored content used in the Controlled Burning for Healthy Forest Management in the Appalachians brochure​ that was revised and reprinted earlier in 2014.  

A small team of partners developed the content, then contracted with a graphic designer for refinement. The signs are 24”x36” fiberglass embedded panels with low-profile traditional “T” style aluminum bases.​ The total cost (design, labor and bases) was about $1000 per sign.