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Title: Defensible space features: impact of voluntary versus mandatory programs on a homeowner's attitudes and actions

Author: Vogt, Christine; McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Winter, Greg.

Year: 2011

Publication: In: McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc, eds. 2011. Proceedings of the second conference on the human dimensions of wildland fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-84. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 71-78.

Abstract: Our research examined homeowner responses to local efforts that encourage mitigation of wildland fire risks on private property. We were specifically interested in whether there were different attitudes toward, and different compliance responses to, voluntary versus mandatory programs aimed at managing vegetation for fire risks. We chose four sites for the diversity of their wildland fire policies and the presence of flammable vegetation, residential housing, and sizeable population. The mandatory policy communities were Oakland, California, and Ruidoso, New Mexico. The voluntary-compliance communities were Grand Haven, Michigan, and Larimer County, Colorado. A mail survey of homeowners revealed that the communities with local ordinances requiring vegetation management had higher levels of mitigation activities and homeowners there perceived mandatory mitigation to be more effective than voluntary programs at reducing risks.

Last Modified: 8/10/2011

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