Past efforts to examine the future of wildland fire management have relied heavily on expertise from within the wildfire community. But changes in seemingly unrelated external factors - outside of the world of wildfire and fire management - can have unexpected and profound effects. This paper describes an ongoing sh1dy of the future of wildland fire management in which a broader approach is taken to explore alternative fuhrres and identify emerging trends. The goal of the project is to gain practical strategic foresight into wildland fire management. We will assemble a panel of academic and professional futurists from multiple areas of expertise to provide their views and insights about developments outside of fire management that will likely affect fire management in the future. The panel will be convened via a series of text-based asynchronous computer conferences, with panel members reacting to and building on each other's ideas, using methods such as futures wheels and wild card brainstorming, and providing reactions to exploratory forecasts and mini-scenarios developed by the project leaders. A key advantage of asynchronous computer conferencing is its capacity to support reflective interaction among the participants, independent of the pressures of time. The final output will include action steps for wildland fire managers and policy makers.
Bengston, David N.; Olson, Robert L.; DeVaney, Leif A. 2012. The Future of wildland fire management in a world of rapid change and great uncertainty: Overview of a futures research project. In: Proceedings of 3rd human dimensions of wildland fire; 2012 April 17-19; Seattle, WA. Missoula, MT: International Association of Wildland Fire: 34-40.