NRM alums Blair, McEwen spotlighted in new INSP ‘Burn Boss’ television show
By: Norman Martin
Two graduates of Texas Tech University's Department of Natural Resources Management, formerly known as the Department of Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries, are featured in a new television show called the "Burn Boss." The pilot episode airs at 5 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 31) on INSP cable channel. Headquartered in Indian Land, South Carolina, INSP is a digital cable and satellite television channel that features family entertainment programming.
"Burn Boss" follows Certified Burn Manager Keith Blair and his crew as they ignite prescribed burns across Texas. Program producers note that Blair's team battles shifting weather and challenging landscapes while protecting people and land from wildfires.
Blair, a graduate (BS '86, MS '91) of Tech's Department of Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries (now Department of Natural Resources Management), is the founder of Red Buffalo, a land stewardship company specializing in prescribed fire for wildlife habitat management, restoration and wildfire prevention. In addition, he has managed a large working ranch and held positions with Texas Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Blair was the first lead instructor approved by the Texas Prescribed Burn Board.
Also featured in Saturday's episode will be Lubbock's Matthew McEwen, also a graduate (MS '15)of Tech's Department of Natural Resources Management. He's a naturalist, ecologist and manager with the Quail-Tech Alliance. Prior to working in quail research, he assisted in heritage management and land stewardship for the Lubbock Lake Landmark, a local archaeological and natural history prairie preserve.
The Quail-Tech Alliance, a partnership between Tech's natural resources management department and Quail First, a Dallas-based non-profit organization, is conducting research and demonstration projects on an array of topics. The research focuses on investigating the potential benefits or detriments of supplemental feeding; understanding the factors that influence over-winter survival of adults and summer-to-fall survival of the brood; and refining the way prescribed burning, brush modification and livestock grazing are used as tools of habitat management.
McEwen serves on the Southern Rolling Plains Prescribed Burn Association and the Prescribed Burn Alliance of Texas, along working with the Texas Section of Society for Range Management's Youth Range Workshop.
CONTACT: Blake Grisham, Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University at (806) 742- 7492 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor: Norman Martin
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