Seasonal Burning on El Sauz

Prescribed fire is a land management tools used to restore and maintain wildlife populations. Fire increases the productivity and nutritional value of native rangelands. However, it is unknown how best to apply fire (e.g., season and burn return interval) to coastal rangelands along the southern Gulf Coast to maximize benefits to cattle and wildlife.

East Foundation has initiated an operational-scale, long-term study on our El Sauz Ranch to determine:

  • Are burned areas are preferred by cattle and if so, for how long?
  • Do cattle preferences differ by season of burn?
  • What are the movements of cattle in response to prescribed fires conducted in different seasons?
  • What are the nutritional values of important grasses (e.g., Gulf cordgrass and Seacoast bluestem) following burns conducted in different seasons?
  • Do plants and corresponding small mammal and bird communities change with differing fire return intervals (e.g., long and short)?
  • How do butterflies and other important insects respond to seasonal burns, return intervals, and fire intensity?

The ultimate goal of this work is to produce prescribed fire recommendations for coastal rangelands in South Texas. This knowledge will equip landowners to apply fire to their lands for maximum benefit.

For more information or questions about this project contact Landon Schofield at

Related Publications

Management Bulletin No. 5: Patch Burning as a Management Tool for Coastal Rangelands in South Texas

Full Text December 2020

J. Silverio Avila-S., Victoria L. Haynes, Sandra Rideout-Hanzak, David B. Wester, Alfonso Ortega-S., Humberto L. Perotto-Baldivieso, and Landon R. Schofield

Improving Livestock Distribution and Utilization in Gulf Cordgrass with Prescribed Burning

Full Text August 2018

Tori Haynes, Silverio Avila- S., Poncho Ortega, David Wester, and Sandra Rideout-Hanzak

Effects of Prescribed Burning on Gulf Cordgrass, Spartina spartinae (Trin.) Merr. ex Hitchc.

Full Text May 2018

Victoria L. Haynes, José S. Ávila Sánchez, Sandra Rideout–Hanzak, David B. Wester, and J. Alfonso Ortega–S.

Season of Burning and Large Mammal Usage of Gulf Cordgrass

Full Text July 2017

Victoria Haynes, José Silverio Ávila-Sánchez, and Sandra Rideout-Hanzak