Title: Influences on USFS District Rangers' Decision to Authorize Wildland Fire Use
Author: Williamson, Martha A.;
Source: In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 67-77
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Description: United States wildland fire policy and program reviews in 1995 and 2000 required reduction of hazardous fuel and recognition of fire as a natural process. Although an existing policy, Wildland Fire Use (WFU), permitted managing natural ignitions to meet resource benefits, most fuel reduction is still achieved through mechanical treatments and prescribed burning. However resource constraints suggest that successful fuel and ecosystem management hinges on expanding WFU. The decision to authorize WFU in the U.S. Forest Service rests with line officers, and the ‘go/no go’ decision constitutes a time-critical risk assessment. Factors influencing this decision clearly impact the viability of WFU.
This study examined influences on line officers’ go/no go decision. A telephone survey was conducted of all U.S. Forest Service district rangers with WFU authority in the Northern, Intermountain, and Southwestern Regions. The census was completed during February 2005 and obtained an 85 percent response rate. Data were analyzed using classification and regression tree (CART) analysis.
Personal commitment to WFU provided the primary classifier for 91 percent of the district rangers who authorized WFU. External factors, negative public perception, resource availability, and a perceived lack of support from the Agency were the main disincentives to authorizing WFU.
Keywords: fire, fire ecology, fuels management, wildland fire policy, Wildland Fire Use, WFU, line officers, go/no go decision, classification and regression tree (CART) analysis
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Williamson, Martha A. 2006. Influences on USFS District Rangers'' Decision to Authorize Wildland Fire Use. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 67-77
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