Fire and Fuel Management Communication Strategies: Citizen Evaluations of Agency Outreach Programs
Society and Natural Resources
Wildfire impacts have increased in recent years. In response, public agencies have undertaken measures to reduce forest fuels and improve forest health conditions. To be successful these programs require a supportive local constituency. Research has identified a relationship between public understanding of, and support for, fuel and fire management activities. Correspondingly, in many areas federal agencies have focused their communication strategies on fuel management programs. This article draws on research in adult learning to develop a framework to evaluate citizen reactions to 11 different outreach programs at study locations in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and Utah. Few differences in citizen reactions were found among study locations, but results suggest interactive formats were more effective than unidirectional methods and are also more consistent with principles of adult learning. However, people were less likely to have participated in interactive activities. Contributions of learning theory principles and the efficacy of individual formats are discussed.
Toman, E., B. Shindler and M. Brunson. 2006. Fire and fuel management communication strategies: Citizen evaluations of agency outreach programs. Society and Natural Resources 19:321-336.