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    Author(s): Carol Miller; Gregory H. Aplet
    Date: 2016
    Source: Journal of Forestry. 114(3): 373-383.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (505.0 KB)

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    RMRS-2017-223
    Wilderness science and its role in wilderness stewardship

    Description

    Wilderness has played an invaluable role in the development of wildland fire science. Since Agee’s review of the subject 15 years ago, tremendous progress has been made in the development of models and data, in understanding the complexity of wildland fire as a landscape process, and in appreciating the social factors that influence the use of wilderness fire. Regardless of all we have learned, though, the reality is that fire remains an extraordinarily complex process with variable effects that create essential heterogeneity in ecosystems. Whereas some may view this variability as a management impediment, for others it provides a path forward. As research has shown, embracing fire in all its complexity and expanding its use can help reduce fuels, restore resilient landscapes, and contain costs. Wilderness fire science will continue to play an important role in understanding opportunities for using fire, its role in ecosystems, its risks and benefits, and the influence of risk perception on decisionmaking.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Miller, Carol; Aplet, Gregory H. 2016. Progress in wilderness fire science: Embracing complexity. Journal of Forestry. 114(3): 373-383.

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    Keywords

    wilderness, wildland fire use, prescribed natural fire, risk

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