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Is Wildfire Policy in the United States Sustainable?

Journal of Forestry, March: Vol. 33, pp. 67, 2007

6 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011  

Toddi A. Steelman

University of Saskatchewan

Caitlin Burke

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 20, 2007

Abstract

Beginning in 2000, wildfire policy in the United States shifted from focusing almost exclusively on suppression to embracing multiple goals, including hazardous fuels reduction, ecosystem restoration and community assistance. Mutually reinforcing, these policy goals have the potential to result in an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable wildfire policy that can mitigate the long-term risk of wildfire for human and ecological communities alike. Six years into this new policy, we evaluate the evidence to determine how well the multiple goals are being served. We conclude that suppression and hazardous fuels reduction receive greater attention and resources relative to ecosystem restoration and community assistance. This provides an incomplete solution to mitigating the long-term risk of wildfire, thereby running the risk of perpetuating it.

Keywords: Wildfire policy, United States, community, supression

Suggested Citation

Steelman, Toddi A. and Burke, Caitlin, Is Wildfire Policy in the United States Sustainable? (September 20, 2007). Journal of Forestry, March: Vol. 33, pp. 67, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931057 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1931057

Toddi A. Steelman (Contact Author)

University of Saskatchewan ( email )

School of Environment and Sustainability
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7
Canada

Caitlin Burke

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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