Document


Title

Enhancing adaptive capacity for restoring fire-dependent ecosystems: the Fire Learning Network's Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Andrew G. Spencer; Courtney A. Schultz; Chad M. Hoffman
Publication Year: 2015

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • adaptive capacity
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • education
  • fire adaptations
  • fire dependent species
  • fire management
  • fire management
  • FLN - Fire Learning Network
  • resilience
  • workforce capacity
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 21036
Tall Timbers Record Number: 32020
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.

Description

Prescribed fire is a critical tool for promoting restoration and increasing resilience in fire-adapted ecosystems, but there are barriers to its use, including a shortage of personnel with adequate ecological knowledge and operational expertise to implement prescribed fire across multijurisdictional landscapes. In the United States, recognized needs for both professional development and increased use of fire are not being met, often because of institutional limitations. The Fire Learning Network has been characterized as a multiscalar, collaborative network that works to enhance the adaptive capacity of fire management institutions, and this network developed the Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges (TREXs) to address persistent challenges in increasing the capacity for prescribed fire implementation. Our research was designed to investigate where fire professionals face professional barriers, how the TREX addresses these, and in what ways the TREX may be contributing to the adaptive capacity of fire management institutions. We evaluated the training model using surveys, interviews, focus groups, and participant observation. We found that, although the training events cannot overcome all institutional barriers, they incorporate the key components of professional development in fire; foster collaboration, learning, and network building; and provide flexible opportunities with an emphasis on local context to train a variety of professionals with disparate needs. The strategy also offers an avenue for overcoming barriers faced by contingent and nonfederal fire professionals in attaining training and operational experience, thereby increasing the variety of actors and resources involved in fire management. Although it is an incremental step, the TREX is contributing to the adaptive capacity of institutions in social-ecological systems in which fire is a critical ecological process.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Spencer, Andrew G.; Schultz, Courtney A.; Hoffman, Chad M. 2015. Enhancing adaptive capacity for restoring fire-dependent ecosystems: the Fire Learning Network's Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges. Ecology and Society 20(3):38.