WWETAC Projects

Project Title: Wildfire links to climate change: Linking FlamMap wildfire simulation model to the Envision planning model

Principal Investigators: Bart Johnson, University of Oregon; John Bolte, Oregon State University

Status: Ongoing

E-mail Contact: Bart Johnson, bartj[at]uoregon.edu; John Bolte, boltej[at]engr.orst.edu

Summary: Projecting climate change effects on coupled natural/human systems at local landscape extents is important in a wide array of land use planning and policy contexts. Researchers at the University of Oregon, in conjunction with colleagues at Oregon State University and the USDA Forest Service, are conducting a research project “The interactions of climate change, land management policies and forest succession on fire hazard and ecosystem trajectories in the wildland-urban interface” under a funding award from the National Science Foundation’s Coupled Natural and Human Ecosystems Program. envisonThe project is using ENVISION, a relatively new planning model that models ecological, social and economic services to predict land use change and provide planners with information about resulting landscape productions.  As part of this project we are incorporating the mechanistic fire model FlamMap to the Envision simulation model to provide a means to a) examine future fire behavior and spread in conjunction with a mechanistic model of human and land use and land management change, and b) link predictions of future fire behavior and spread to the effects of climate change.  The agent-based model (ENVISION) is parameterized using a survey of private landowners that examines their likely responses to climate change, land use regulation and incentives, land markets, perceived fire hazard, land management costs, and aesthetic preferences. flammapUnlike conventional predict-then-act approaches that seek a single, optimal solution that performs “best” under expected conditions, our explore-then-test approach allows us to: a) explore large numbers of potential future landscapes; b) seek robust alternatives for reducing wildfire risk and biodiversity loss that perform well across a broad range of plausible future landscapes; and c) identify land management policies to conserve and restore imperiled ecosystems while meeting societal goals for human safety and economic well-being through a balance of regulations and individual choice. 


Products:  A wildfire modeling system within Envision that can be used to examine the impacts of individual landowner decisions on long term wildfire risk at landscape scales

Project ID: FY09AA61