Advertisement

Human Ecology

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 773–785 | Cite as

Rangeland Fire Protection Associations in Great Basin Rangelands: A Model for Adaptive Community Relationships with Wildfire?

  • Jesse AbramsEmail author
  • Emily Jane Davis
  • Katherine Wollstein
Article

Abstract

Widespread concern with the negative impacts of wildfire on human communities has spurred calls to foster more resilient and adaptable forms of community coexistence with fire. However, numerous institutional barriers work to perpetuate maladaptive individual and collective behaviors in many communities. Here we examine a unique institutional model in the remote U.S. West in which rural community members play active roles in responding to wildland fire under state-sanctioned Rangeland Fire Protection Associations. Our findings drawn from case studies of four associations in Idaho and Oregon suggest that the Rangeland Fire Protection Association model presents opportunities to leverage the motivations, skills, and knowledge of ranchers to inform effective fire response and create opportunities for learning and adaptation. At the same time, this model of coproduction presents challenges to the integration of formal and informal institutions.

Keywords

Wildfire Wildland-urban interface Ranching Polycentric governance Institutions Resilience Western United States Idaho Oregon 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All human subjects research was conducted with the informed consent of those involved. Research was authorized and overseen by the University of Oregon Institutional Review Board, protocol #06062014.010.

References

  1. Abrams J., Knapp M., Paveglio T. B., Ellison A., Moseley C., Nielsen-Pincus M., and Carroll M. S. (2015). Re-envisioning community-wildfire relations in the US West as adaptive governance. Ecology and Society 20(3): 34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balch, J. K., Bradley, B. A., D’Antonio, C. M., Gómez-Dans, J. (2013). Introduced annual grass increases regional fire activity across the arid western USA (1980-2009). Global Change Biology 19(1): 173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basurto X. (2005). How locally designed access and use controls can prevent the tragedy of the commons in a Mexican small-scale fishing community. Society and Natural Resources 18(7): 643–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bixler R. P. (2014). From community forest management to polycentric governance: assessing evidence from the bottom up. Society and Natural Resources 27(2): 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowman D. M. J. S., Balch J., Artaxo P., Bond W. J., Cochrane M. A., D’Antonio C. M., DeFries R., Johnston F. H., Keeley J. E., Krawchuk M. A., Kull C. A., Mack M., Moritz M. A., Pyne S., Roos C. I., Scott A. C., Sodhi N. S., and Swetnam T. W. (2011). The human dimension of fire regimes on Earth. Journal of Biogeography 38(12): 2223–2236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brandsen T., and Honingh M. (2016). Distinguishing different types of coproduction: a conceptual analysis based on the classical definitions. Public Administration Review 76(3): 427–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brenkert-Smith H. (2010). Building bridges to fight fire: the role of informal social interactions in six Colorado wildland–urban interface communities. International Journal of Wildland Fire 19(6): 689–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Busby G., and Albers H. J. (2010). Wildfire risk management on a landscape with public and private ownership: who pays for protection? Environmental Management 45(2): 296–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Busenberg G. (2004). Wildfire management in the United States: the evolution of a policy failure. Review of Policy Research 21(2): 145–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Butler W. H., and Goldstein B. E. (2010). The US fire learning network: springing a rigidity trap through multi-scalar collaborative networks. Ecology and Society 15(3): 21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Calkin D. E., Cohen J. D., Finney M. A., and Thompson M. P. (2014). How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(2): 746–751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carroll M. S., Higgins L. L., Cohn P. J., and Burchfield J. (2006). Community wildfire events as a source of social conflict. Rural Sociology 71(2): 261–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chambers J. C., Roundy B. A., Blank R. R., Meyer S. E., and Whittaker A. (2007). What makes Great Basin sagebrush ecosystems invasible by Bromus tectorum? Ecological Monographs 77(1): 117–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cleaver F. (2012). Development through bricolage: rethinking institutions for natural resource management, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Coates P. S., Ricca M. A., Prochazka B. G., Brooks M. L., Doherty K. E., Kroger T., Blomberg E. J., Hagen C. A., and Casazza M. L. (2016). Wildfire, climate, and invasive grass interactions negatively impact an indicator species by reshaping sagebrush ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(45): 12745–12750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davis, E. J., C. Moseley, P. Jakes, and M. Nielsen-Pincus. (2011). The lost summer: community experiences of large wildfires in Trinity County, California. Ecosystem Workforce Program, Institute for a Sustainable Environment, Eugene.Google Scholar
  17. de Koning J., and Benneker C. (2012). Bricolage practices in local forestry. In Arts B., Behagel J., van Bommel S., de Koning J., and Turnhout E. (eds.), Forest and nature governance: a practice-based approach, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 49–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ellickson, R. C. (1991). Order without law: how neighbors settle disputes. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  19. Evans P. (1996). Introduction: Development strategies across the public-private divide. World Development 24(6): 1033–1037.Google Scholar
  20. Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network. (2016). Fire adapted communities self-assessment tool. Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network.Google Scholar
  21. Fischer A. P., Spies T. A., Steelman T. A., Moseley C., Johnson B. R., Bailey J. D., Ager A. A., Bourgeron P., Charnley S., Collins B. M., et al (2016). Wildfire risk as a socioecological pathology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14(5): 276–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fleming C. J., McCartha E. B., and Steelman T. A. (2015). Conflict and collaboration in wildfire management: the role of mission alignment. Public Administration Review 75(3): 445–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Folke C., Hahn T., Olsson P., and Norberg J. (2005). Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30: 441–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Folke C., Carpenter S. R., Walker B., Scheffer M., Chapin T., and Rockstrom J. (2010). Resilience thinking: integrating resilience, adaptability and transformability. Ecology and Society 15(4): 20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ganz D., Troy A., and Saah D. (2007). Community involvement in wildfire hazard mitigation and management: community based fire management, fire safe councils and community wildfire protection plans. In Troy A., and Kennedy R. G. (eds.), Living on the edge: economic, institutional and management perspectives on wildfire hazard in the urban interface, Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 143–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gill A. M., Stephens S. L., and Cary G. J. (2013). The worldwide “wildfire” problem. Ecological Applications 23(2): 438–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Goldstein B. E. (2008). Skunkworks in the embers of the Cedar Fire: enhancing resilience in the aftermath of disaster. Human Ecology 36(1): 15–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Goldstein B. E., and Butler W. H. (2009). The network imaginary: coherence and creativity within a multiscalar collaborative effort to reform US fire management. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 52(8): 1013–1033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. International Association of Fire Chiefs. (2012). Your role in fire-adapted communities: how the fire service, local officials, and the public can work together. U.S. Fire Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.Google Scholar
  30. Klooster D. J. (2002). Toward adaptive community forest management: integrating local forest knowledge with scientific forestry. Economic Geography 78(1): 43–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Knapp P. A. (1996). Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L) dominance in the Great Basin Desert: history, persistence, and influences to human activities. Global Environmental Change 6(1): 37–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Knapp C. N., and Fernandez-Gimenez M. E. (2009). Knowledge in practice: documenting rancher local knowledge in northwest Colorado. Rangeland Ecology & Management 62(6): 500–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Koontz, T. M., Steelman, T. A., Carmin, J., Korfmacher, K. S., Moseley, C., and Thomas, C. W. (2004). Collaborative environmental management: what roles for government? Resources for the Future, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  34. Kousky C., Olmstead S., and Sedjo R. (2012). In harm’s way: homeowner behavior and wildland fire policy. In Bradshaw K. M., and Lueck D. (eds.), Wildfire policy: law and economics perspectives, Resources for the Future, New York, pp. 178–199.Google Scholar
  35. Leschak P. (2014). Fire adapted communities. Fire Management Today 73(3): 7–8.Google Scholar
  36. McCaffrey S. M., and Rhodes A. (2009). Public response to wildfire: is the Australian stay and defend or leave early approach an option for wildfire management in the United States? Journal of Forestry 107(1): 9–15.Google Scholar
  37. North M. P., Stephens S. L., Collins B. M., Agee J. K., Aplet G., Franklin J. F., and Fulé P. Z. (2015). Reform forest fire management. Science 349(6254): 1280–1281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ostrom E. (1990). Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ostrom E. (1996). Crossing the great divide: coproduction, synergy, and development. World Development 24(6): 1073–1087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ostrom E. (2005). Understanding institutional diversity, Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar
  41. Paveglio T. B., Carroll M. S., Hall T. E., and Brenkert-Smith H. (2015a). ‘Put the wet stuff on the hot stuff’: the legacy and drivers of conflict surrounding wildfire suppression. Journal of Rural Studies 41: 72–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Paveglio T. B., Moseley C., Carroll M. S., Williams D. R., Davis E. J., and Fischer A. P. (2015b). Categorizing the social context of the wildland urban interface: adaptive capacity for wildfire and community “archetypes”. Forest Science 61(2): 298–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Paveglio T. B., Nielsen-Pincus M., Abrams J., and Moseley C. (2017). Advancing characterization of social diversity in the wildland-urban interface: an indicator approach for wildfire management. Landscape and Urban Planning 160: 115–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pellant M., Abbey B., and Karl S. (2004). Restoring the Great Basin desert, USA: integrating science, management, and people. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 99(1): 169–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pyne S. J. (1995). World fire: the culture of fire on earth, University of Washington Press, Seattle.Google Scholar
  46. Rodriguez Mendez S., Carroll M. S., Blatner K. A., Findley A. J., Walker G. B., and Daniels S. E. (2003). Smoke on the hill: a comparative study of wildfire and two communities. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 18(1): 60–70.Google Scholar
  47. Schoennagel T., Balch J. K., Brenkert-Smith H., Dennison P. E., Harvey B. J., Krawchuk M. A., Mietkiewicz N., Morgan P., Moritz M. A., Rasker R., Turner M. G., and Whitlock C. (2017). Adapt to more wildfire in western North American forests as climate changes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(18): 4582–4590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shindler B. A., Toman E., and McCaffrey S. M. (2009). Public perspectives of fire, fuels and the Forest Service in the Great Lakes Region: a survey of citizen–agency communication and trust. International Journal of Wildland Fire 18(2): 157–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sicilia M., Guarini E., Sancino A., Andreani M., and Ruffini R. (2016). Public services management and co-production in multi-level governance settings. International Review of Administrative Sciences 82(1): 8–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Skillen J. R. (2009). The nation’s largest landlord: the Bureau of Land Management in the American West, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.Google Scholar
  51. Smith A. M. S., Kolden C. A., Paveglio T. B., Cochrane M. A., Bowman D. M. J. S., Moritz M. A., Kliskey A. D., Alessa L., Hudak A. T., Hoffman C. M., Lutz J. A., Queen L. P., Goetz S. J., Higuera P. E., Boschetti L., Flannigan M., Yedinak K. M., Watts A. C., Strand E. K., van Wagtendonk J. W., Anderson J. W., Stocks B. J., and Abatzoglou J. T. (2016). The science of firescapes: achieving fire-resilient communities. Bioscience 66(2): 130–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Spies T. A., White E. M., Kline J. D., Fischer A. P., Ager A., Bailey J., Bolte J., Koch J., Platt E., and Olsen C. S. (2014). Examining fire-prone forest landscapes as coupled human and natural systems. Ecology and Society 19(3): 9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stasiewicz A. M., and Paveglio T. B. (2017). Factors influencing the development of Rangeland Fire Protection Associations: exploring fire mitigation programs for rural, resource-based communities. Society and Natural Resources 30(5): 627–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Steelman T. A., and Burke C. A. (2007). Is wildfire policy in the United States sustainable? Journal of Forestry 105(2): 67–72.Google Scholar
  55. Steen T., Nabatchi T., and Brand D. (2016). Introduction: Special issue on the coproduction of public services. International Review of Administrative Sciences 82(1): 3–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Toman, E., M. Stidham, S. McCaffrey, and B. Shindler. (2013). Social science at the wildland-urban interface: a compendium of research results to create fire-adapted communities. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square.Google Scholar
  57. Undargaa S. (2017). Re-imagining collective action institutions: pastoralism in Mongolia. Human Ecology 45(2): 221–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Walker B., Holling C. S., Carpenter S. R., and Kinzig A. (2004). Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 9(2): 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wilkinson C. F. (1992). Crossing the next meridian: land, water, and the future of the West, Island Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  60. Yin R. K. (2009). Case study research: design and methods, 4th edn., Sage Publications, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  61. Young O. R. (2002). Institutional interplay: the environmental consequences of cross-scale interactions. In Ostrom E., Dietz T., Dolsak N., Stern P. C., Stonich S., and Weber E. (eds.), The drama of the commons, National Academy Press, Washington, pp. 263–291.Google Scholar
  62. Young O. R. (2010). Institutional dynamics: Resilience, vulnerability and adaptation in environmental and resource regimes. Global Environmental Change 20(3): 378–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Yung L., and Belsky J. M. (2007). Private property rights and community goods: negotiating landowner cooperation amid changing ownership on the Rocky Mountain Front. Society and Natural Resources 20(8): 689–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017
corrected publication November/2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for a Sustainable EnvironmentUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forest Ecosystems and SocietyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Natural Resources and SocietyUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA

Personalised recommendations