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Firefights and Fuel Management: A Nested Rotation Model for Wildfire Risk Mitigation

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  • Jonathan Yoder
  • Marian Lankoande

    ()
    (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)

Abstract

Scientists and policymakers are increasingly aware that wildfire management efforts should be broadened beyond the century-long emphasis on suppression to include more effective efforts at fuel management. Because wildfire risks change over time as vegetation matures, fuel management can be viewed as a timing problem, much like timber harvest itself. We develop a nested rotation model to examine the fuel treatment timing issue in the context of a forest environment with both timber value and non-timber values at-risk. Simulations are performed for a ponderosa pine forest and discussed with a focus on three important aspects of wildfire management: 1) the economic tradeoffs between fuel treatments, suppression, and timber harvest 2) the effects of public wildfire suppression on private fuel management incentives, 3) externality problems when non-timber values-at-risk such as wildland- urban interface property is not accounted for in private fuel management decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University in its series Working Papers with number 2005-7.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:yoder-4

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Keywords: wildfire; fuels management; fire suppression; optimal rotation; wildfire economics.;

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  1. Jonathan Yoder & Marcia Tilley & David Engle & Samuel Fuhlendorf, 2003. "Economics and Prescribed Fire Law in the United States," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 218-233.
  2. Prestemon, Jeffrey P. & Mercer, D. Evan & Pye, John M. & Butry, David T. & Holmes, Thomas P. & Abt, Karen L., 2001. "Economically Optimal Wildfire Intervention Regimes," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20470, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Reed, William J., 1984. "The effects of the risk of fire on the optimal rotation of a forest," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 180-190, June.
  4. Englin, Jeffrey E. & Boxall, Peter C. & Hauer, Grant, 2000. "An Empirical Examination Of Optimal Rotations In A Multiple-Use Forest In The Presence Of Fire Risk," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 25(01), July.
  5. Jonathan Yoder, 2004. "Playing with Fire: Endogenous Risk in Resource Management," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(4), pages 933-948.
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