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"U.S. Federal Fire and Forest Policy: Emphasizing Resilience in Dry Forests"

Professor Scott Stephens, UC Berkeley
Jan 17, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-800)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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Current U.S. forest fire policy emphasizes short-term outcomes versus long-term goals. This perspective drives managers to focus on the protection of high-valued resources - such as ecosystem-based or developed infrastructure - at the expense of forest resilience and adaption. One of the most difficult obstacles to revising forest fire policy is that agency organizations and decision making processes are not structured in ways to ensure that fire management is thoroughly considered in management decisions. Forest restoration should therefore at least equal other land management priorities because large-scale restoration is necessary for the sake of forest ecosystem integrity now and into the future. If increases in forest restoration fail to accompany the change in how large wildfires are funded, then U.S. fire suppression costs will remain high while resilience will continue to decline. New federal partnerships with States and local governments are needed to address this problem.

Scott Stephens is a Professor of Fire Science and recent Chair S. Stephens Photoof the Division of Ecosystem Science at UC Berkeley. He is also the director of the UC Center for Fire Research and Outreach and co-director of the UC Center for Forestry.  He is the leader of California Fire Science Consortium which works to more effectively deliver fire science information to natural resource managers. Professor Stephens’ areas of expertise focus on interactions of wildland fire and ecosystems. He is also interested in wildland fire policy and how it can be improved to meet the challenges of the next decades.


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