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Comms/ Social Science

First page of a final report produced by the Joint Fire Science Program

Demand for prescribed fire on private lands in the Mid-Atlantic United States

Kreye et al., 2022

Fire is an important process that shapes the structure and composition of many North American forest ecosystems. In the absence of fire, fire-dependent tree species can be gradually replaced by fire-sensitive species. There is an increasing interest by natural resource professionals to restore important fire-dependent ecosystems in order to enhance the provision of ecosystem services. Restoring fire across eastern US landscapes is complicated by a diverse mix of public and private land ownerships. In the Mid-Atlantic region, most prescribed burning occurs on public lands. However, three-fourths of forestlands in this region are privately owned which means the potential for private lands burning is significant. To help inform policies that support prescribed burning on private lands we conducted a regional survey of private landowners regarding their knowledge and interest in prescribed burning. The survey assessed landowner knowledge and perceived risk of burning, trust in fire practitioners, and willingness to pay for using prescribed fire as a management tool. We also examined regional variation in landowner responses using a spatial analysis technique called hot spotting...

Evaluating economic impacts of prescribed fire in the central hardwood region

Mann et al., 2020

Surface fires are often prescribed to favor oak (Quercus) regeneration in eastern forests, but there is potential for fire to damage residual overstory timber. This study evaluated the potential economic effects of prescribed fire on sawtimber volume and value across 139 stands, each with a known history of one to six prescribed fires, on the Hoosier, Mark Twain, Wayne, and Daniel Boone National Forests. Sawtimber volume and value losses were highly variable, ranging from 0 to 2,269 bd ft ac–1 and from US$0 to US$272.95 ac–1, respectively, for stands that had received at least one prescribed fire. Volume and value losses increased linearly by +0.9 percent and +1.5 percent per burn, respectively, that a stand received over the past 25 years...

Public and manager perceptions about prescribed fire in the Mid-Atlantic, United States

Wu et al., 2022

Firescapes of the Mid-Atlantic are understudied compared to other ecosystems in the United States, and little is known about the acceptance of prescribed fire as a forest management tool. Yet, this region harbors high levels of wildland-urban interface (WUI), has a close intermingling of land ownerships, and reflects substantial regional heterogeneity in burning histories and fire hazards. As prescribed fire is increasingly applied in the Mid-Atlantic as a critical tool to meet various land management objectives, research is needed to help managers understand community perceptions of prescribed fire implementation. Through intercept surveys of forest recreationists and online surveys of fire managers, this study investigates perceptions about prescribed fire use in the Mid-Atlantic, in addition to the critical contributing factors of public support toward prescribed fires. Two states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, were selected as case studies to explore regional differences in social perception due to their contrasts in fire history, policy, management objectives, and social exposure...

Status update: is smoke on your mind? Using social media to assess smoke exposure

Ford et al., 2017

Exposure to wildland fire smoke is associated with negative effects on human health. However, these effects are poorly quantified. Accurately attributing health endpoints to wildland fire smoke requires determining the locations, concentrations, and durations of smoke events. Most current methods for assessing these smoke events (ground-based measurements, satellite observations, and chemical transport...

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