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The role of prescribed burn associations in the application of prescribed fires in rangeland ecosystems
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Although the ecological thresholds for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems back to their original state are better understood than in the past, the key hurdle to reintroducing historical fire regimes at landscape scales is a social one. The objectives of this study were to assess the human dimensions of prescribed fire and evaluate the role of Prescribed Burn Associations (PBAs) in promoting the adoption of prescribed fire at the landscape scale. The study was conducted in 12 counties in Texas, consisting of clusters of four counties in each of three ecoregions. A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 1187 landowners to gather information regarding landowner attitudes and perceptions towards the use of prescribed fire as a rangeland management and restoration tool. We received 585 useable responses (129 PBA-members and 456 non-members), representing an overall response rate of 49%. Most (86%) survey respondents slightly agreed to strongly agreed with the use of prescribed fire and most (89%) slightly agreed to strongly agreed that prescribed fire is beneficial land management tool that they would use. There are, however, significant differences between PBA member and non-member attitudes and perceptions regarding fire and actual application of prescribed fire. PBA membership was a significant explanatory variable for the application of prescribed fire at all sites. Our research suggests that PBAs can significantly reduce landowners’ risks of an intentionally ignited fire burning out of control by sharing experience, labor and equipment, which ultimately increases the potential capacity for using prescribed fire as a rangeland improvement tool at landscape, watershed and even regional scales.
Urs P. Kreuter
Michael G. Sorice
Charles A. Taylor
attitudes and opinions
USDA Scientist Submission
Journal of environmental management 2014 v.132
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Agricultural Research Service
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