The Relative Value Of Fire Planning Alternatives
Free (open access)
151 - 162
D. B. Rideout & N. Kernohan
Assessing the value of fire planning alternatives is challenging because fire affects a wide array of ecosystem, market, and social values. Pragmatic approaches to assessing the value of fire management are yet to be developed. Previous approaches to assessing the value of forest management relied on connecting site valuation with management variables. While sound, such analysis is too narrow to account for today’s broader ecosystem services. Ecosystem management brought the design of fire regime condition class but it is entirely biophysical. Its void of economic information cripples its utility to support decision-making. By focusing on marginal analysis and the value of improvement obtained by fire management, we define and present a means of assessing the deviation of a landscape from its desired fire management condition. Using a case study site in Colorado, we displayed the deviation across a landscape and summed the deviations to produce a summary metric. This summary metric was used to assess the value of alternative fire management strategies on improving the desired fire management condition. It enabled us to identify which sites are most valuable to restore, even if they are in the same fire regime condition class. The case study site exemplified how a wide range of disparate values can be incorporated such as watershed, wildlife, property and timber. Positive deviations in the landscape from desired condition present opportunities for improvement or restoration through fuels treatment and negative deviations present opportunities for improvement through fuel efforts such as suppression. Keywords: andscape analysis, wildland fire, spatial planning, watershed, desired condition, condition class, fire regime condition class, economics.
andscape analysis, wildland fire, spatial planning, watershed, desired condition, condition class, fire regime condition class, economics.