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Wildfire Management and Incentives

People respond to incentives, and within a bureaucracy budgets are a powerful incentive. We consider the role that budget policy plays in the wildfire suppression efforts of federal land management agencies. That role has been one of encouraging suppression of wildfires and discouraging consideration of the beneficial effects of wildfire. The policy is costly not only to current tax payers; it also shifts a considerable burden to the future. We discuss changes to budget policy that would help to both contain suppression costs and recognize the natural place of wildfire in many forest ecosystems.

Selected Publications

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