BMNRI Home > Publications
> Abstract: Forest Management in The
Forest Management in the Blue Mountains: Public
Perspectives on Prescribed Fire and Mechanical Thinning
by B. Shindler and M. Reed
Most Blue Mountains residents are receptive, and in many cases
strongly supportive, of both prescribed fire and mechanical thinning
as fuels reduction techniques in the region. In many cases, the
general public seems willing to support a Forest Service program
that increases its use of these practices. To address problems,
most citizens would like to see the agency take a stronger leadership
role on local forests, particularly if this direction increases
interaction with communities.
However, because natural resources issues are often complex, long-term
solutions will need to be more sophisticated than opinion polls
about whether people are for or against a single management practice.
For example, public agreement in this region will probably be linked
with how a decision affects the local economy, how a practice detracts
or contributes to people's understanding of sustainable forests,
the visual quality of fire and thinning treatments, and how final
management decisions are made. In concluding remarks, five factors
that are likely to influence the public's judgement are discussed:
- people need to see things with their own eyes.
- people want natural conditions and forest products too.
- credible information is essential.
- pay attention to agency/public barriers.
- people will only support what they understand.