The US Fire Learning Network: springing a rigidity trap through multiscalar collaborative networks
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): W. H. Butler; B. E. Goldstein
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • collaborative planning
  • computer networks
  • computer programs
  • ecological fire restoration
  • education
  • fire management
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • FLN
  • land management
  • learning networks
  • multiscalar networks
  • resilience
  • rigidity trap
  • suppression
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • US Fire Learning Network
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 48886
Tall Timbers Record Number: 25124
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Not in File
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.


Wildland fire management in the United States is caught in a rigidity trap, an inability to apply novelty and innovation in the midst of crisis. Despite wide recognition that public agencies should engage in ecological fire restoration, fire suppression still dominates planning and management, and restoration has failed to gain traction. The U.S. Fire Learning Network (FLN), a multiscalar collaborative endeavor established in 2002 by federal land management agencies and The Nature Conservancy, offers the potential to overcome barriers that inhibit restoration planning and management. By circulating people, planning products, and information among landscape- and regional-scale collaboratives, this network has facilitated the development and dissemination of innovative approaches to ecological fire restoration. Through experimentation and innovation generated in the network, the FLN has fostered change by influencing fire and land management plans as well as federal policy. We suggest that multiscalar collaborative planning networks such as the FLN can facilitate overcoming the rigidity traps that prevent resource management agencies from responding to complex cross-scalar problems. © 2010 by the authors. Published under license by the Resilience Alliance.

Online Link(s):
Butler, W. H., and B. E. Goldstein. 2010. The US Fire Learning Network: springing a rigidity trap through multiscalar collaborative networks. Ecology and Society, v. 15, no. 3, p. 21.