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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): David E. Calkin; Krista M. Gebert
Publication Date: 2006

ANNOTATION: This report intends to increase the accuracy of cost data available for planning and prioritizing fuel management in national forests. A survey of fire management officers was used to develop regression models that may be used to estimate the cost of hazardous fuel reduction treatments. The model was based on the USDA Forest Service Region, biophysical setting, treatment type, and design. The study found that treatment size described the largest amount of variation in cost per acre, with increased size reducing cost per acre, on average. ABSTRACT: Years of successful fire suppression have led to high fuel loads on the nation's forests, and steps are being taken by the nation's land management agencies to reduce these fuel loads. However, to achieve desired outcomes in a fiscally responsible manner, the cost and effectiveness in reducing losses due to wildland fire of different fuel treatments in different forest settings must be understood. Currently, prioritizing fuel treatment activities and planning budget expenditures is limited by a lack of accurate cost data. The primary objective of this research was to develop regression models that may be used to estimate the cost of hazardous fuel reduction treatments based on USDA Forest Service Region, biophysical setting, treatment type, and design. A survey instrument was used to obtain activity-specific information directly from fire management officers at Forest Service Ranger Districts for treatments occurring between 2001 and 2003. For both prescribed burns and mechanical activities, treatment size described the largest amount of variation in cost per acre, with increased size reducing cost per acre, on average. We confirmed that data on Forest Service fuel treatment activities maintained in the National Fire Plan Operations and Reporting System were not sufficiently accurate for reasonable cost analysis and modeling.

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Citation: Calkin, David E.; Gebert, Krista M. 2006. Modeling fuel treatment costs on Forest Service lands in the western United States. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 21(4):217-221.

Cataloging Information

Topics:
Economics    Fire Prevention    Fuels    Models    Planning    Prescribed Fire
Regions:
Partner Sites:
Keywords:
  • fuel management
  • fuel treatments
  • western United States
  • wildfire suppression costs
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (https://www.frames.gov/contact)
FRAMES Record Number: 3724