Sponsored by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium
Presented by William Toombs and Keith Weber, GIS Training and Research Center, Idaho State University
Today's extended fire seasons and large fire footprints have prompted state and federal land-management agencies to devote increasingly large portions of their budgets to wildfire management. As fire costs continue to rise, timely and comprehensive fire information becomes increasingly critical to response and rehabilitation efforts. The NASA Rehabilitation Capability Convergence for Ecosystem Recovery (RECOVER) post-fire decision support system is a server-based application designed to rapidly provide land managers with the information needed to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. This study evaluated the efficacy of RECOVER through structured interviews with land managers (n = 19) who used RECOVER and were responsible for post-fire rehabilitation efforts on over 715,000 ha of fire-affected lands. Although the benefit of better-informed decisions is difficult to quantify, the results of this study illustrate that RECOVER's decision support capabilities provided information to land managers that either validated or altered their decisions on post-fire treatments estimated at over US$1.2 million and saved nearly 800 h of staff time by streamlining data collection as well as communication with local stakeholders and partnering agencies.
For more information on the project, visit the NASA RECOVER website here.