Forest Service fire management and the elusiveness of change

TitleForest Service fire management and the elusiveness of change
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSchultz, CA
Secondary AuthorsThompson, MP
Tertiary AuthorsMcCaffrey, SM
JournalFire Ecology
Start Page13
Keywordsfire policy, risk management, technical reports and journal articles

There is broad recognition that fire management in the United States must fundamentally change and depart from practices that have led to an over-emphasis on suppression and limited the presence of fire in forested ecosystems. In this paper, we look at competing problem definitions in US Forest Service policy for fire management, the presence of goal ambiguity, and how these factors can explain why changes in fire management have been elusive, despite policy change. We consider US Forest Service fire policies, performance incentives, and decision-making processes for two sides of the agency: the National Forest System, which is responsible for land management on the national forests, and Fire and Aviation Management, which oversees response to wildland fire.