This research was funded by the National Science Foundation Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program, Grant 0816475.
Proceedings of the Second Conference on the Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire
Environmental protection -- United States -- Citizen participation, Biodiversity -- Climatic factors
In many parts of the world, the combined effects of wildfire, climate change, and population growth in the wildland-urban interface pose increasing risks to both people and biodiversity. These risks are exemplified in western Oregon’s Willamette Valley Ecoregion, where population is projected to double by 2050 and climate change is expected to increase wildfire risk. Restoring elements of the region’s historic fire-adapted prairie, savanna, and woodland habitats may help to reduce future wildfire risk and help conserve the region’s threatened biodiversity. We report on a mail survey (n = 939) examining the socio-demographic factors influencing private landowners’ likelihood of restoring fire-adapted habitats in the future. We found that newer landowners, landowners with a liberal political ideology, and landowners who have experienced wildfire are more likely to restore fire-adapted habitats in the future than their long-time owner, conservative, or inexperienced counterparts. However, experience with wildfire ceased to be a significant influence when we controlled for underlying landowner motivations for owning their property. Our findings can help planners and scientists better understand and account for the effects of a dynamic human population’s influence on landscape patterns, structures, and composition.
Nielsen-Pincus, M, R.G. Ribe, and B.R. Johnson. 2011. The sociology of landowner interest in restoring fire-adapted, biodiverse habitats in the wildland-urban interface of Oregon's Willamette Valley ecoregion. Pages 58-66 in: McCaffrey, S. M.; Fisher, and C. LeBlanc, eds. Proceedings of the second conference on the Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-84. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.