Article I

Mission and Objectives

Section 1.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Virginia Prescribed Fire Council is to foster cooperation among all parties in Virginia with an interest or stake in prescribed fire for the purpose of optimizing burning opportunities for the benefit of natural ecosystems and wildlife and to reduce the risk of damage from wildfires. This will be accomplished by encouraging the exchange of information, techniques and experiences among practitioners of prescribed fire in Virginia and by promoting public understanding of the regional importance and benefits of prescribed fire.



  • Provide a framework for communications regarding prescribed fire objectives, techniques and issues.

  • Review prescribed fire issues and suggest courses of action.

  • Promote the safe and responsible use of prescribed fire.

  • Disseminate technical information.

  • Promote the development and utilization of prescribed fire practices commensurate with desirable environmental resource management.

  • Promote public understanding of the benefits of prescribed fire.


Article II


Section 1.1.

Participation shall be open to any agency, organization, or individual that uses, regulates or promotes prescribed fire as a land management tool. An individual representing each group maybe be designated to serve as a representative on the Steering Committee.

Section 1.2.

Membership requirements.  Any organization, individual or agency wishing to support and promote the purposes of the Council may apply for membership, and, upon notifying the Secretary in writing of their intent to join as a member, shall become a member of the Council in the appropriate classification.

Section 1.3.

Voting Rights.   Any issue put forward to the Council which requires a vote of the Council shall be presented at Council meetings.  Council members unable to attend the meeting for a vote may convey their vote on the issue to the Council Chair before the date of the meeting.  In order for the results of a vote to be valid, a quorum of the Council members must participate in the vote.

Section 1.4.

Quorum.   A quorum consists of a majority of the current members of the Council at the time of a Council meeting. 

Section 1.5.

Member Responsibilities.   Members shall attend all Council meetings.  Organizational and agency members may send multiple representatives to any meeting.  Members shall adopt and adhere to the Virginia Prescribed Fire Council mission and objectives.

Section 1.6.

Members and Memberships.   The Council shall have members and memberships, divided into the following classifications:

Organizational membership.  Organizations shall mean incorporated 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations and local chapters thereof, unincorporated non-profit organizations, and for-profit corporations.  Organizational members shall have voting rights on the Council, one vote per organization.  Multiple individuals may represent organizational members, but the organization as a whole shall have one Council vote.

Individual membership.  Individual shall mean those persons not representing a particular non-profit organization, corporation, or government agency, who represent only themselves.  Individual members shall have voting rights on the Council.

Agency membership.  Agency shall mean federal, state, or local government agencies, as established by statute.  Agency members shall have voting rights on the Council.  Agencies may be represented by multiple individuals, but the agency as a whole shall have one Council vote.

Section 2.

A Steering Committee is established to guide the organization and to develop position statements and coordinate meetings. The committee is composed of a diverse representation from groups such as these:

Virginia Department of Forestry

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Virginia Tech, Department of Forestry

U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service George Washington / Jefferson National Forest

U.S. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service

The Nature Conservancy

Section 3.

The Steering Committee will share information, provide updates and gain input from the council.


Article III


Section 1.

The officers of the council shall be the Chair, Vice-chair, and Secretary, who will be members and determined by the Steering Committee.

Section 2.

Steering committee members shall be elected for and serve a term of two years and until their successors have been duly elected or until their prior resignation.   The Vice-chair shall succeed the Chair upon the completion of the Chair’s term. Elected officials may be re-elected for consecutive terms.

Section 3.

The Chair shall preside at all meetings and see that all resolutions approved by the Steering Committee are acted upon.

Section 4.

The Chair may appoint Committees from the representatives as needed.

Section 5.

In the event that the Chair must be absent from a meeting, the Vice-chair will serve as Chair.

Section 6.

The Secretary shall see that the minutes of each meeting are kept and that a copy is provided to each representative soon after the meeting.

Section 7.

The Chair may authorize the issuance of position statements and public notices after approval of the Steering Committee.

Section 8.

The Steering Committee acts on behalf of the council

Section 9.

The Chair, or Vice Chair in his stead, and Treasurer will have the authority to approve disbursement of council funds.


Article IV


Section 1.

At least one Council meeting and two Steering Committee meetings will be held annually.

Section 2.

Written notices of Steering Committee meetings shall be provided to representatives prior to all such meetings. Notice of Steering Committee meetings will include a meeting agenda.


Article V


Section 1.

By-law amendments will be proposed one meeting in advance, and then voted on at the subsequent meeting

Section 2.

In order to vote, the representative or a designated appointee from member organizations must be present at the meeting.


Article VI


Prescribed Fire Definition

"Prescribed burning" means the controlled application of fire or wildland fuels in either the natural or modified state, under specified environmental conditions, which allows a fire to be confined to a predetermined area and produces the fire behavior and fire characteristics necessary to attain planned fire treatment and ecological, silvicultural, and wildlife management objectives.



Last Amended: 2/12/2009