Publication Details

Communicating with homeowners in the interface about defensible space

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Monroe, Martha C.; Payton, Michelle

Year Published

2006

Publication

In: McCaffrey, S.M., tech. ed. The public and wildland fire management: social science findings for managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 99-109.

Abstract

Although resource managers encourage residents to create defensible space, many report that homeowners still live in risky landscapes. This study explores the perceptions and attitudes of Minnesota and Florida interface homeowners toward their local landscape. By using in-depth interviews, we gained a better understanding of landscape values, preferences, and activities related to defensible space, vegetation management, and willingness to reduce wildfire risk. We believe that emphasizing relevant values (wildlife, naturalness, privacy, and recreation opportunities); acknowledging the complexity of wildfire; and suggesting a number of benefits to creating defensible space could be helpful communication techniques to motivate residents. It is crucial that managers listen to residents to understand what they care about, what information is missing in their perception of the risk, and what type of support will best encourage change.

Keywords

communication, fuels treatments, defensible space, wildfire management, social acceptance, education, wildland urban interface

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Citation

Monroe, Martha C.; Nelson, Kristen C.; Payton, Michelle. 2006. Communicating with homeowners in the interface about defensible space. In: McCaffrey, S.M., tech. ed. The public and wildland fire management: social science findings for managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 99-109.

Last updated on: January 17, 2007