Skip to Main Content
Engaging communities in post-fire restoration: forest treatments and community-agency relations after the Cerro Grande fireAuthor(s): Robert L. Ryan; Elisabeth M. Hamin
Source: In: McCaffrey, S.M., tech. ed. The public and wildland fire management: social science findings for managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 87-96.
Publication Series: Other
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (466.5 KB)
DescriptionOur research provides advice to managers in their work in post-fire forest rehabilitation based on focus groups and interviews in the Los Alamos, New Mexico, community after the Cerro Grande fire of 2000. We address two key issues: how different restoration efforts compare to natural revegetation from the public?s perspective, and how to effectively communicate with and engage the public in the rehabilitation process. Overall, resident perceptions of the USDA Forest Service were reported to be better after the fire than before, and acceptance of hazard mitigation measures had also increased significantly. Not surprisingly the key aspect to residents? perceptions of the Forest Service was the amount and quality of communication, and the availability of a clear person to go to with questions. A second important aspect was supporting volunteers in rehabilitation efforts, which both aids the forest and helps the community heal from the trauma of the fire. Such fires create an opportunity to increase networks of collaboration and cooperation, both with residents and with other agencies. The study found strong support for rehabilitation techniques that stabilized soils and minimized flood damage near developed areas. One point of near consensus was the need to remove hazard trees from trails and to re-open trails and other popular recreation areas as quickly as possible. However, residents? perceptions varied about how many dead and dying trees should have been removed after the fire as well as how much area should be seeded.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRyan, Robert L.; Hamin, Elisabeth M. 2006. Engaging communities in post-fire restoration: forest treatments and community-agency relations after the Cerro Grande fire. In: McCaffrey, S.M., tech. ed. The public and wildland fire management: social science findings for managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 87-96.
Keywordscommunication, fuels treatments, defensible space, wildfire management, social acceptance, education, wildland urban interface
- Perceptions of Wildfire Threat and Mitigation Measures by Residents of Fire-Prone Communities in the Northeast: Survey Results and Wildland Fire Management Implications
- Shared values and trust: the experience of community residents in a fire-prone ecosystem
- Communicating about smoke from wildland fire: challenges and ways to address them
XML: View XML