5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Thursday, 20 November 2003: 8:30 AM
Social Concerns Related to Wildfire Fuels Treatments
Pamela Jakes, USDA Forest Service, North Central Research Station, St. Paul, MN; and S. C. Barro
Wildfire fuels management is a front-page issue for the President, Congress, agencies, communities, and citizens. The role of social science in wildfire fuels management is to improve the decision-making process. In meetings with fuels managers and social scientists for several different initiatives, some key concerns were identified that social scientists can help address. The social science team of the Fuels Planning: Science Synthesis and Integration project has restated these concerns as five questions. The answers to the following questions will improve wildfire fuels management: (1) What information and tools are available that help land managers and communities collaborate in developing fuel treatment programs? (2) What information and tools are available to help public land managers work with communities to communicate the risk and uncertainty of fuels treatment projects? (3) What information and tools are available to evaluate the social acceptability of fuels treatments? (4) What information and tools are available to encourage more active involvement of private property owners in the fuels management process? (5) What information and tools are available to help us understand and evaluate the social impacts of wildfire? Teams of social scientists from universities and agencies across the country were organized around each question to synthesize what we know that would improve wildfire fuels management. In this presentation, we summarize significant findings from each question team, and discuss implications.

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