Sponsored by: Lake States Fire Science Consortium
Presented by: Kristin Floress, Research Social Scientist, USDA Forest Service, People & Their Environments, Northern Research Station
While most large-scale and catastrophic fires are in the western U.S., numerous communities east of the Mississippi are at high-risk of damage from wildfire. In Wisconsin, communities near the Lakewood-Laona District on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest have the potential for fires greater than 1,000 acres because of fire suppression, decreased precipitation, and high vegetation density. Departures from historical landscape conditions have also altered wildlife species composition and diversity. Thus, forest managers were interested in understanding how stakeholders near the District felt about various forest management activities to decrease wildfire risk and restore historical plant and wildlife species. Social scientists partnered with managers to survey landowners about the acceptability of forest management goals and treatments, specific project outcomes, and level of trust in USFS staff. In this presentation, the acceptability of using prescribed fire is explored with regard to perceived benefits, agency trust, management goal alignment, and demographic characteristics.
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