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Wildfire Mitigation and Private Lands: Managing Long-Term Vulnerabilities

Posted date: March 08, 2007
Publication Year: 
2006
Authors: Muller, Brian; Schulte, Stacey
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 706-709
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Long-term management of wildfire vulnerability requires strategies that address complex interactions between fire ecology and human settlement. In this paper, we examine the integration of wildfire mitigation and land use planning in county governments in the western U.S. This research relies on data from two sources. First, we conducted a survey of land use mitigations in over 300 forested counties in the Western United States. Planning directors in each county were asked to identify and assess land use planning tools adopted in their county for the purpose of reducing wildfire risk. Second, we interviewed wildfire mitigation staff from 10 Colorado counties to better understand problems in implementation of land use mitigations. We find that many forested counties across the Western U.S. have adopted land use mitigation programs focusing on regulation of new subdivisions and public education. Many fewer counties have adopted regulatory programs focusing on existing structures or development of individual parcels outside subdivisions. Rapid rates of development outside subdivisions may pose substantial, continuing wildfire risks in Western U.S. counties that are not addressed in many land use mitigation programs.

Citation

Muller, Brian; Schulte, Stacey 2006. Wildfire Mitigation and Private Lands: Managing Long-Term Vulnerabilities. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 706-709