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Project ID: 06-4-1-26

Year: 2006

Date Started: 07/07/2006

Date Completed: 10/30/2009

Title: Longitudinal Analysis of Public Responses to Wildland Fuel Management: Measures to Evaluate Change and Predict Citizen Behaviors in Agency Decision Processes

Project Proposal Abstract: Research methods regularly employed in social science studies provide a "snapshot" of a cross-section of the population at one specific point in time. Although careful analysis of cross-sectional data can provide considerable insight, data from a single reference point limit our ability to understand contextual factors and their influence on decision processes. Much like long-term ecological research, a longitudinal design allows us to overcome these limitations. This project utilizes the most beneficial form of longitudinal research, a panel study, in which we will re-survey the same respondents from our previous 2000-1 study and measure changes over time. Using our original respondent sample (n=1,325) from seven western and midwestern states, this design will allow us to gauge changes in public responses to agency fire management policies, identify specific factors that influence citizens' support of fuel practices, and evaluate the role these factors play in the ability of managers to make decisions. This panel data will provide a much richer understanding of these processes and help provide a predictive component to agency interactions with their publics. This project will replicate previous measures used in seven study locations; Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Additional on-site research will examine variables unique to each location (e.g., achievements, barriers, communications, community interactions) to assess their influence on public acceptance and support for treatments as well as on trust in agencies to carry out fire management. Objectives include: 1) compare citizen responses across the study period, 2) identify and examine specific factors that influence public acceptance over time, 3) provide a predictive capacity in anticipating public responses to agency planning strategies, 4) identify measures of success for building relationships with citizens in fire-prone communities, and 5) conduct regional workshops to discuss findings and implications with JFSP cooperators and partner groups. Findings from this research will benefit managers by providing tangible evidence of the factors that influence planning and decision processes. It will enable agency personnel to anticipate public responses to specific strategies and to more effectively communicate with local publics for accomplishing fuel reductions programs.

Principal Investigator: Bruce A. Shindler

Agency/Organization: Oregon State University

Branch or Dept: Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Mark W. Brunson

Utah State University

Department of Environment & Society

Co-Principal Investigator

Eric L. Toman

Ohio State University

School of Environment & Natural Resources-Columbus

Federal Cooperator

Sarah M. McCaffrey

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Basin

Lake States


Southern Rockies


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   1720 Government Publication Research Perspectives on the Public and Fire Management: A Synthesis of Current Social Science on Eight Essential Questions
view or print   1556 Government Publication Longitudinal Analysis of Wildland Fire and Fuel Management
view or print   2967 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire
view or print   3553 Journal Article Environmental Management
    4308 Invited Paper/Presentation Public Acceptance of Fuel Reduction Strategies: The U.S. Experience
view or print   6338 Final Report Summary Research Perspectives on the Public and Fire Management: A Synthesis of Current Social Science on 8 Essential Questions
    6075 Invited Paper/Presentation Public Perspectives of Fire, Fuels, and the Forest Service in the Great Lakes Region: A Longitudinal Survey of Residents in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin
view or print   5494 Final Report Summary Partners in Fire Education Factsheet
view or print   7134 Dataset (including spatial) Longitudinal Data Set From Fire-Prone Communities in Seven States (AZ, CO, MI, MN, OR, UT, WI)

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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