Cost-effective fire management in national parks
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): J. K. Agee
Editor(s): J. E. Lotan; B. M. Kilgore; W. C. Fischer; R. W. Mutch
Publication Year: 1985

Cataloging Information

  • fire management
  • national parks
  • prescribed fires (chance ignition)
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 30385
Tall Timbers Record Number: 4370
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:INT-182
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Evaluations of fire management programs have been based primarily on ecological criteria rather than on cost-effectiveness. Determining cost-effectiveness poses several problems: current budgeting practices do not encourage such evaluations, assessment of the net value changes produced by fire is qualitative, and cost-effectiveness of fire management alternatives is difficult to determine. This discussion focuses on two approaches to determining cost-effectiveness. The first,a survey of cost-effectiveness in parks with complex fire management plans, showed most managers had considered cost in developing their programs but lacked data to demonstrate cost-effectiveness. The second, a simulation model based on the Olympic National Park fire management program, suggests that measuring cost-effectiveness of complex fire management requires knowing costs of other fire management alternatives. If progress in complex fire management depends on determining and quantifying cost-effectiveness, it will be necessary to quantify the trade-offs associated with prescribed fires and wildfires.

Agee, J. K. 1985. Cost-effective fire management in national parks, in Lotan, J. E., Kilgore, B. M., Fischer, W. C., and Mutch, R. W., Proceedings Symposium and Workshop on Wilderness Fire. Missoula, MT. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station,Ogden, UT. p. 193-198,General Technical Report INT-182.