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National fuel-treatment budgeting in US federal agencies: capturing opportunities for transparent decision-making

Posted date: August 23, 2010
Publication Year: 
2009
Authors: Reynolds, Keith M.; Hessburg, Paul F.; Keane II, Robert E.; Menakis, James P.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 2373-2381

Abstract

The Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system has been used by the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and Bureaus of the Department of the Interior since 2006 to evaluate wildfire potential across all administrative units in the continental US, and to establish priorities for allocating fuel-treatment budgets. This article discusses an EMDS fuels-treatment decision-support application, agency experiences with the application, and the extent to which it addressed concerns in Congress, and those of the General Accountability Office. EMDS aids the budget allocation process by providing a rational, transparent, and reproducible process that can be clearly communicated to Congressional staff and oversight personnel. However, practical application of this decision-support process was not without challenges, which included missing or suboptimal data, clearly articulated fuels management objectives, and improved understanding (via re-assessing decision logic from prior years) of trade-offs in decision-making.

Citation

Reynolds, Keith M.; Hessburg, Paul F.; Keane, Robert E.; Menakis, James P. 2009. National fuel-treatment budgeting in US federal agencies: capturing opportunities for transparent decision-making. Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 2373-2381.