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Project ID: 16-1-02-10

Year: 2016

Date Started: 09/01/2016

Ending Date:  08/31/2019

Title: Fighting Wildfire with Prescribed Burning in the Southern Great Plains

Project Proposal Abstract: The proposed project addresses Task Statement 2: Social and regulatory barriers and facilitators to implementing prescribed fire of JFSP Project Announcement FA-FON0016-0001. This research will target multiple social science research needs that that address all five questions posed in this task statement. The project will align closely with the ongoing research and outreach activities of the seven members of the research team from three institutions (Texas A&M University, Oklahoma State University, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln). The team consists of two senior faculty members who have extensive experience in human dimensions of natural resources management and fire ecology, and five dynamic young professionals who have expertise in natural resources policy, environmental sociology and social network analysis, ecosystem science and law, rangeland management and outreach, and wildlife management and burn severity mapping. The project will link to a current NSF-funded project aimed at illuminating biophysical and social factors leading to the spread of woody plans in the southern Great Plains (Kreuter and Fuhlendorf are Co-PIs) and a JFSP-funded project on the management of fuel loads to enhance prairie chicken habitat (Fuhlendorf is Co-PI). The integrative study proposed here will focus on both the social and regulatory barriers to the use of prescribed fire by private landowners and managers in the southern Great Plains. Landowners make management decisions for a high proportion of land in the western USA and, to succeed, fire management reforms aimed at reducing wildfire risk require their support. The study will consist of five components: (1) Analysis of interactions between federal, state and county regulations influencing the use of prescribed fire by landowners; (2) Determination of sources of information used by county extension agents and county commissioners to provide advice and make decisions about the use of prescribed fire by landowners; (3) Assessment of the influence of public opinion on perspectives held by the professional networks of landowners about wildfire and the use of prescribed fire; (4) Integrated analysis of how social and regulatory factors influence landowner attitudes about prescribed fire, the extent to which they have used fire on their land, and the extent to which they intend to use it in the future; and (5) Evaluation of the potential efficacy of three intervention tools (provision of fire insurance, membership of prescribed bring associations, and use of burn severity maps to inform landowner understanding about wildfire impacts and the effectiveness of prescribed burning) for increasing the use of prescribed fire by landowners. Data for these five components of the study will be obtained using personal/telephone interviews with state and federal agency personnel (~40), landowner association officials (~20), and state trail court judges (~20), as well as three mail/Internet surveys  one targeting landowners (~1200) and the other two targeting county extension agents (~400) and county commissioners (~400). Data will be analyzed using structured equation modeling methods and network analysis to quantify linkages between social and regulatory factors that influence landowner attitudes towards the use of prescribed fire to reduce wildfire risks. The results of the study will lead to scientifically sound policy recommendations for increasing the use of prescribed fire to reduce wildfire risk on private land. The information obtained will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal publications, the popular press and through workshops for landowners and managers, agency personnel and legislators in Texas and Oklahoma. The proposed research contributes to the mission of the JFSP Great Plains regional fire consortium. We will work with the Great Plains regional consortium to disseminate our research findings and outreach material to the fire science and management community.

Principal Investigator: Urs P. Kreuter

Agency/Organization: Texas A&M University-College Station

Branch or Dept: Texas AgriLife Research


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Anna M. Jahn

Texas A&M University-College Station

Texas AgriLife Research

Budget Contact

Anna M. Jahn

Texas A&M University-College Station

Texas AgriLife Research

Co-Principal Investigator

Richard P. Bixler

Texas A&M University-College Station

Texas AgriLife Research

Co-Principal Investigator

Forrest D. Fleischman

Texas A&M University-College Station

Department of Ecosystem Science & Management

Co-Principal Investigator

Samuel D. Fuhlendorf

Oklahoma State University

Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management

Co-Principal Investigator

Morgan L. Russell

Texas A&M University-College Station

Department of Ecosystem Science & Management

Collaborator/Contributor

Diana L. Doan-Crider

Texas A&M University-College Station

Department of Ecosystem Science & Management

Collaborator/Contributor

Carissa L. Wonkka

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Agronomy and Horticulture


Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Plains

Oak Woodlands

Southwest


Level

State

Agency

Unit

REGIONAL

Southeast

MULTIPLE


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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