Evaluating Public Responses to Wildland Fuels Management:
Factors that Influence Acceptance of Practices and Decision Processes
Principal Investigators
Dr. Bruce Shindler, Forest Soc. Scientist
Department of Forest Resources
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
Tel: (541) 737-3299, FAX: 737-3049
Dr. Mark Brunson, Forest/Rangeland Soc. Scientist
Department of Environment & Society
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-5215
Tel: (435) 797-2458, FAX: 797-4048
Project Description
This is a Joint Fire Science Program funded project. Conducted in 2001-2003, this study was designed to evaluate the public's understanding and acceptance of different wildland fuel treatments in federal forest and rangeland settings. Specifically, mail surveys were developed to 1) identify factors that influence the acceptability of fuels reduction strategies and decision processes, 2) examine citizens' understanding of and preferences for management alternatives, 3) evaluate the usefulness of various forms of agency information exchange, and 4) measure public confidence in resource agencies for effective planning and decision-making. A central component of the study was inclusion of Joint Fire Science Program and National Fire Plan partners in fine-tuning the research design and interpreting findings in the context of state-of-the-art fuels management programs for particular regions of the U.S. The study targeted a national sample as well as nine regional sites and their affected publics.
Methods and study sites
This project incorporated a national opinion survey of the general public and a network of nine regional (localized) surveys of more affected publics in fire-prone states. All surveys were mail based and utilized a random sample design except for the national questionnaire which was stratified to insure sufficient response from urban and rural communities. Local sites were selected to include a mix of ecosystem types and fuel reduction practices. Samples were drawn from communities surrounding federal lands where managers were attempting to conduct fuel reduction programs. Sites by state included:
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
A brief description of each site is provided in the file link titled research sites.
Files and information links
The following files and links are provided for information purposes and for use by researchers wishing to replicate our study protocols.
Research Sites A short description of each regional research site.
Master Freq Report A master file of percent of response for all questions. This includes the national study as well as data for all nine states. Survey questions varied slightly by state; thus fields contain data only where the question was asked.
Arizona · Colorado
Florida · Georgia
Oregon · Utah
Great Lakes
Seven project summaries of key questions are provided for the regional studies. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, and Utah are reported independently; Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are combined in the Great Lakes summary.
Data Summary This is a master data set for the six state (AZ, CO, FL, GA, OR, and UT) comparison. It is an excel file and is suitable for statistical measures and comparative analysis with replicated studies.
Badly Burned?
Effects of an Escaped Prescribed Burn on Social Acceptability of Wildland Fuels Treatments
Public Acceptance of Wildland Fire Conditions and Fuel Reduction Practices:
Challenges for Federal Forest Managers
Fuel Reduction Strategies in Forest Communities:
A Longitudinal Analysis
Fire and Fuel Management Communication Strategies:
Citizen Evaluations of Agency Outreach Programs
Prescribed Fire:
The Influence of Site Visits on Citizen Attitudes
Social Acceptability in Forest and Range Management
Project Report Executive Summary
Design ©2005 Cooper Baker