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Title: Humans, Fires, and Forests - Social science applied to fire management

Author: Cortner, Hanna J.; Field, Donald R.; Jakes, Pam; Buthman, James D.

Year: 2003

Publication: Flagstaff, AZ: Ecological Restoration Institute, Northern Arizona University. 111p.

Abstract: The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons resulted in increased political scrutiny of the nation's wildland fire threats, and given the fact that millions of acres of lands are still at high risk for future catastrophic fire events, the issues highlighted by the recent fire seasons are not likely to go away any time soon. Recognizing the magnitude of the problem, the National Fire Plan outlined a cooperative long-term program of research and development to support efforts to reduce human and ecological losses from wildfire. For example, in Fiscal Year 2001, USDA Forest Service scientists received $26 million for 63 research projects, including many projects that would apply the theories and methodologies of the social sciences to critical wildfire issues; an additional 15 projects were funded in Fiscal Year 2002. Forest Service scientists, in turn, brought in cooperators from universities and non-governmental organizations across the country to collaborate on projects focusing on issues related to firefighting, rehabilitation and restoration, hazardous fuel reduction, and community assistance. The large infusion of fire research dollars has provided the resources and incentives for social scientists to address questions of humans interactions with fire - pre, during and post fire events. Other activities in support of fire social science include the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's establishment of a social science research task group, and sponsorship of Burning Questions, a social science research agenda on fire (Machlis et al. 2002).

Last Modified: 8/11/2006

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