Skip to Main Content
Wildfire risk as a socioecological pathologyAuthor(s): A Paige Fischer; Thomas A Spies; Toddi A Steelman; Cassandra Moseley; Bart R Johnson; John D Bailey; Alan A Ager; Patrick Bourgeron; Susan Charnley; Brandon M Collins; Jeff Kline; Jessica E Leahy; Jeremy S Littell; James DA Millington; Max Nielsen-Pincus; Christine S Olsen; Travis B Paveglio; Christopher I Roos; Michelle M Steen-Adams; Forrest R Stevens; Jelena Vukomanovic; Eric White; David MJS Bowman
Source: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
View PDF (2.0 MB)
DescriptionWildfire risk in temperate forests has become a nearly intractable problem that can be characterized as a socioecological “pathology”: that is, a set of complex and problematic interactions among social and ecological systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Assessments of wildfire risk could benefit from recognizing and accounting for these interactions in terms of socioecological systems, also known as coupled natural and human systems (CNHS). We characterize the primary social and ecological dimensions of the wildfire risk pathology, paying particular attention to the governance system around wildfire risk, and suggest strategies to mitigate the pathology through innovative planning approaches, analytical tools, and policies. We caution that even with a clear understanding of the problem and possible solutions, the system by which human actors govern fire-prone forests may evolve incrementally in imperfect ways and can be expected to resist change even as we learn better ways to manage CNHS.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
CitationFischer, A Paige; Spies, Thomas A; Steelman, Toddi A; Moseley, Cassandra; Johnson, Bart R; Bailey, John D; Ager, Alan A; Bourgeron, Patrick; Charnley, Susan; Collins, Brandon M; Kline, Jeffrey D; Leahy, Jessica E; Littell, Jeremy S; Millington, James DA; Nielsen-Pincus, Max; Olsen, Christine S; Paveglio, Travis B; Roos, Christopher I; Steen-Adams, Michelle M; Stevens, Forrest R; Vukomanovic, Jelena; White, Eric M; Bowman, David MJS 2016. Wildfire risk as a socioecological pathology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 14(5): 276-284.
KeywordsWildland urban interface, fire-prone forests, coupled human and natural systems, governance
- Humans in changing shrubland ecosystems
- An on-line interface for integrated modeling of wildlife, climate, and society for strategic planning for the Sky Islands
- Social sciences in Puget Sound recovery
XML: View XML