Previous to the establishment of the arsenal in 1941 the area was a mix of farms and forest. The area was cutover for timber before 1920. The flat areas were cultivated and steeper area used as woodlots and grazing for cattle and hogs. Abandoned fields grew up in pine or in some cases were planted in pine during the 1930's. The burning of farm stubble and woodlands was a common practice in Arkansas throughout this time period. The establishment of the arsenal began a long history of timber and wildlife management under various management philosophies ranging from neglect to active manipulation. Fires were suppressed during much of this time period. For the last 15-20 years prescribed fire has been used to prevent wildfires along the railroad right- of-way and under pine forests to control the understory and to improve wildfire habitat. Some prescribed burning is carried out every year at PBA. Prescribed forest fires have been relatively cool winter burns and are not usually used in hardwood stands to protect timber value. With the more recent emphasis on biodiversity and ecosystem management attempts are being made to more closely imitate fires that maintain and enhance forest structure and composition. Goals of Fire Management: (1) The restoration and maintenance of a diverse herbaceous layer in all plant communities represented at PBA. (2) The restoration of a more open, large tree-grass structure in the designated old growth areas across forest types. (3) The maintenance and enhancement of fire-dependent rare species populations.