Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Whose Priority Is It? What Determines Spending Choices on Fire Risk Reduction Projects By Federal Land Management Agencies

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 1:45 PM
President's Room (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Heather Hodges1, Sarah Anderson1 and Stuart Kasdin2, (1)University of California, Santa Barbara, (2)George Washington University
Pressman and Wildavsky’s, “Implementation: How Great Expectations in Washington Are Dashed in Oakland” describes obstacles that can occur with policy implementation. We examine the implementation of the 2002 National Fire Plan (NFP), in which five federal land management agencies adopted a strategy for reducing the damages and future dangers from wildfires. The point of the NFP was to identify priority locations for hazardous fuels reductions and forest restoration treatments on public lands.  We empirically analyze the spending decisions of 5 federal agencies across 12 years as they implement a shared fire risk reduction strategy. We examine how federal agencies allocated funds appropriated to implement the NFP from 2002-2011)and the degree with which individual forests  targeted priority lands, consistent with the NFP overall goals, or chose treatment acres consistent with local priorities. How autonomous are local forests in determining priorities? We look at factors, like community political orientation leading forests to behave differently.  We also examine how the changes in Congressional control from Republican to Democratic in 2006 and from a Republican President to a Democratic President (hence the agencies’ political leadership) in 2008 affected the forests behavior.  How do the priority treatment rates change as the political environment changes?

Full Paper: