Fire Social Science Research from the Pacifc Southwest Research Station: Studies Supported by National Fire Plan Funds

Fire Social Science Research from the Pacifc Southwest Research Station: Studies Supported by National Fire Plan Funds

by U. S. Department Agriculture, Forest Service
     
 
A U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) call for research proposals in 2001 addressed rebuilding USFS capability to address problems in fire-adapted ecosystems and in the wildland-urban interface. This effort supported the National Fire Plan and the 10-year comprehensive fire strategy. The National Fire Plan goals were to ensure sufficient firefighting

Overview

A U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) call for research proposals in 2001 addressed rebuilding USFS capability to address problems in fire-adapted ecosystems and in the wildland-urban interface. This effort supported the National Fire Plan and the 10-year comprehensive fire strategy. The National Fire Plan goals were to ensure sufficient firefighting resources for the future, rehabilitate and restore fire-damaged ecosystems, reduce fuels (combustible forest materials) in forests and rangelands at risk, especially near communities, and work with local residents to reduce fire risk and improve fire protection. Each proposal included the proposed research, development, and implementation activities that would be undertaken over a 5-year period, as well as the expected outcomes from these activities. The major topic headings for proposals were firefighting, rehabilitation and recovery, hazardous fuel reduction, and community assistance. Funding was distributed according to a formula developed by national team leaders within the USFS with firefighting receiving 34 percent of the funds, rehabilitation and recovery 20 percent, hazardous fuel reduction 35 percent, community assistance 10 percent, and Washington office administration 1 percent. This allocation reflected the judgment of national team leaders about the relative magnitude of needs and the alignment of the program with the National Fire Plan goals and objectives. It took into account the serious need for pivotal core fire science development and the eligibility of the social sciences across all four topics. The Wildland Recreation and Urban Cultures Research Work Unit of the Pacific Southwest Research Station was funded through this allocation within the community assistance topic area. In the proposal, we noted that fire events often have a large impact on recreation and tourism, yet these issues had not been addressed from a social science perspective. These impacts are due to the direct short- and long-term biophysical effects of fires, and indirect or induced effects owing to firefighting operations, fuel treatments, area closures, and other disruptions to social systems. Local populations are affected, as are visiting populations, and these effects are particularly acute in wildlands near urban areas. Understanding and managing these impacts would be improved by scientific study of the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of the affected populations in relation to fire events, fire management, and fire effects. Unit work focused on three research objectives: Examine values/attitudes and behaviors of recreation residence owners and year-round residents in the wildland-urban interface; Examine recreationists' perceptions about fire suppression and postfire forest health issues; and Examine perceptions and beliefs about recreation activities and impacts to fire-prone ecosystems in the wildland-urban interface. In the first year of funding, we developed research and cooperative relationships with people in California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, and Washington. Our work over the years has increased considerably, and the unit has conducted research studies in many locations across the United States. We report 17 of these studies grouped into four major topical headings: recreation use, communication, program evaluation and interface residents, and trust.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781480146273
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
10/19/2012
Pages:
258
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.54(d)

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