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Project ID: 13-1-03-7

Year: 2013

Date Started: 01/01/2014

Ending Date:  09/30/2016

Title: Benefits and Costs of Implementing Fuel Treatments on Nonindustrial Private Forest (NIPF) Lands in Mississippi

Project Proposal Abstract: This project proposes to examine the cost effectiveness of fuel treatments on nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) lands in Mississippi. The study will generate results that will help managers more effectively prioritize fuel treatment investments and generate the largest possible benefits when compared to incurred costs. Our proposal addresses questions related to treatment costs outlined in Task 3 (Fuels treatment effectiveness: Economics) of the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Funding Opportunity Notice 2013-1. Specifically, the proposal will examine the cost structure associated with different treatment types and re-treatment intervals and determine least-cost re-treatment intervals that meet fire behavior objectives. Our proposal is consistent with the JFSP mission to support research that will enable quantification of trade-offs associated with implementing various fuel treatments and facilitating more effective budget allocations. This project proposal is unique and timely because it offers a new approach in determining costs and benefits associated with implementing fuel treatments. First, the project will focus on NIPF landowners. This is important because the vast majority of forest land in the fire-prone southeastern United States is owned by NIPF landowners (Butler, 2008). Consequently, involvement of NIPF landowners is necessary for any coordinated landscape effort to decrease hazardous fuels as well as optimize fuel treatment expenditures. However, increasing the involvement of NIPF landowners might be hindered by limited information on up-to-date costs of fuel treatments, landowner attitudes toward fuel treatments, forest ownership goals, and expected benefits of fuel treatments. Second, the study will use survey methods to collect information on fuel treatments implemented by NIPF landowners, their actual costs, re-treatment intervals, and effectiveness of fuel treatments in meeting landowner forest management goals and wildfire hazard reduction objectives. Third, in addition to collecting information on actual costs of fuel treatments, this study will use a contingent valuation method (CVM) to determine landowner willingness to pay (WTP) for fuel treatments and other hazard reduction activities. The advantage of this approach is that it will produce information that will be useful in developing future assistance and cost-share programs as well as providing potential cost references in terms of NIPF landowners who have not implemented any fuel treatment activities. Fourth, the study will involve a spatial analysis in which researchers will map the distribution of implemented fuel treatments and will use spatial analysis to identify areas that might be suitable for coordinated fuel treatment efforts. Finally, researchers will develop a simulation tool to model the efficacy of cost-share programs by simulating the impact of wildfires and behavior of NIPF landowners. The proposed work represents a novel approach to examining fuel treatment costs that will have wide implications for treatment prioritization in Mississippi and in fire-prone landscapes with diverse ownership elsewhere.

Principal Investigator: Robert K. Grala

Agency/Organization: Mississippi State University

Branch or Dept: Department of Forestry


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Penny P. French

Mississippi State University

Office of Sponsored Programs

Budget Contact

Mary A. Kelly

Mississippi State University

Department of Forestry

Co-Principal Investigator

William H. Cooke III

Mississippi State University

Department of Geosciences

Co-Principal Investigator

Stephen C. Grado

Mississippi State University

Department of Forestry

Co-Principal Investigator

Hugh R. Medal

Mississippi State University

College of Engineering

Co-Principal Investigator

Ian A. Munn

Mississippi State University

Department of Forestry

Co-Principal Investigator

Morgan J. Varner III

Virginia Tech University

Forest Resource and Evironmental Conservation


Project Locations

Consortium

South


Level

State

Agency

Unit

STATE

MS

PRIVATE

Private lands


Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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