Forests, people, fire: integrating the sciences to build capacity for an "all lands" approach to forest restoration.

Published online
17 Jan 2018
Content type

Thomas, L.

Publication language
USA & Oregon


Interest in landscape-scale approaches to fire management and forest restoration is growing with the realization that these approaches are critical to maintaining healthy forests and protecting nearby communities. However, coordinated planning and action across multiple ownerships have been elusive because of differing goals and forest management styles among landowners. Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and their colleagues recognized that working at the landscape scale requires integrating the biophysical, social, and economic dimensions of the problem, and this necessitates collecting new types of information and inventing new tools. To accomplish this, the study team included widely diverse expertise and worked closely with stakeholders in central Oregon throughout the process. The team gathered information from private, state, federal, and tribal landowners about their current forest and fire management practices and then built a computer model that can be used to facilitate collaborative decisionmaking about forest management in fire-prone environments. The model allows stakeholders to compare alternative management scenarios to see how various approaches affect wildfire behavior, risk, and the associated delivery of valued ecosystem services. The model is now being used with two forest collaborative groups in central Oregon to help stakeholders understand the potential tradeoffs associated with management options.

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