Fire Policy

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Fire and fuels management contributions to sage-grouse conservation: A status report

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This report, developed by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), Wildfire and Invasive Species Initiative Working Group (Working Group), summarizes the current state of Fire Operations and Fuels management functions in big sagebrush communities. The intent of this report is to illustrate the type and responsiveness of efforts being made. Finally, the report concludes by presenting future options and a series of recommendations that may inform future policy and allocation decisions.

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Perverse incentives: The case of wildfire smoke regulation

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This article argues that decisions regarding planned wildfire are marred by an anachronistic and inaccurate distinction between “natural” and “anthropogenic” fire. Rationalizing that unplanned wildfires are “natural,” the federal government excludes pollutants from such fires from air quality compliance calculations at the same time it encourages states to vigorously control pollutants from “anthropogenic,” prescribed fires. The result contributes to an undervaluation of necessary, planned wildfire. Several solutions are suggested to remove these distortions, including adopting a default rule whereby all wildfire smoke, of whatever origin, “counts” for purposes of air quality compliance.

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National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Visit the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy website.

See also the National Cohesive Strategy’s Western Region website.

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy is a strategic push to work collaboratively among all stakeholders and across all landscapes, using best science, to make meaningful progress towards the three goals:

  1. Resilient Landscapes
  2. Fire Adapted Communities
  3. Safe and Effective Wildfire Response

Vision: To safely and effectively extinguish fire when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and as a nation, to live with wildland fire.

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Fuels and fire behavior dynamics in bark beetle-attacked forests in western North America and implications for fire management

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This paper reviews the nature and characteristics of bark beetle-altered fuel complexes in the conifer forests of the Interior West and the challenges of understanding the effects on extreme fire behavior, including the initiation and spread of crown fires. We also discuss how emerging fire management plans in the U.S. have begun to integrate wildfire management and other forest health objectives with the specific goal of achieving biodiversity and ecosystem resiliency while simultaneously reducing the existence of hazardous fuel complexes.

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Fuel treatments on rangelands

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This report is intended to introduce policy makers and citizens to issues related to wildfire management and fuel treatments on Idaho’s rangelands. It summarizes the findings of fuel treatment studies on rangelands in Idaho and comparable areas of the western U.S., examines the risks associated with fuel treatment alternatives, summarizes the policies that currently affect fuel treatment implementation, and suggests research and policy alternatives that may increase fuel treatment effectiveness.

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Guide to legal and institutional resources for restoration and management of Great Basin rangelands

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This is an online guide to legal and institutional resources intended to serve as a starting point to help public and private land managers figure out which considerations are most relevant to the implementation of vegetation treatments in Great Basin states.

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