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Pacific Northwest Research Station
Blue Mountains National Resources Institute

Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory
1401 Gekeler Lane
La Grande, OR 97850

United States Forest Service.

BMNRI Home > Publications > Abstract: Public Perspectives on Prescribed Fire



Public Perspectives on Prescribed Fire and Mechanical Thinning [ Tech Note No. 9 (PDF, 183k) ]

by B. Shindler

Most citizens of the Blue Mountains are receptive to both mechanical thinning/removal and prescribed fire as fuel reduction methods. Large majorities agreed with their use for specific management purposes and were willing to live with resulting effects. It is also clear that the majority of respondents preferred thinning/removal to prescribed fire, primarily because of the retention of products in thinning operations, and the negative effects of risk in prescribed fire operations.

This study further supports the contention that although strong voices have been critical of Forest Service policies to management the fire issue, the majority of the public is supportive of the Agency's work in fuel reduction. It is also likely that the public would prefer the Forest Service to provide stronger leadership locally, particularly if this direction includes increased interaction with communities.

While these findings reflect the views of the general public, recent history indicates that numerous factors play a role in shaping forest policy. Even though people are receptive to these methods and ideas, many will be waiting to see how well they work before making final judgements. Informative programs that help people understand ecosystem management practices, and inclusive ones where people can contribute to plans involving difficult but necessary tradeoffs, often mean the difference between success and frustration.

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station, Blue Mountains National Resources Institute
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:42 CST

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