Tuesday, November 7, 2017

CFP: Law, Planning and Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface: The Future of Government and Governance of Disaster in the West

Call for Presentations and Papers

Law, Planning and Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface:

The Future of Government and Governance of Disaster in the West

Symposium Date:  Friday, October 19, 2018

Proposal Deadline:  January 1, 2018

Location:  Boise, Idaho

The Idaho Law Review invites proposals for presentations and papers for its symposium, “Law, Planning and Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface:  The Future of Government and Governance of Disaster in the West.” 

In 1995, fire suppression made up 16 percent of the U.S. Forest Service’s annual appropriated budget; in 2015, wildfire consumed more than 50 percent of the agency’s budget. 

As suppression costs mount, attention is increasingly focused on development patterns that place more people in wildfire’s way, often resulting in higher losses of life, greater property value damage, and higher suppression costs.  This is especially true at the urban fringe, often referred to as the “Wildland-Urban Interface,” or WUI.  Six of the 10 most expensive fires in the past 100 years were WUI fires, despite the fact that WUI fires account for just a small fraction of overall fires fought in any given year.  According to one widely used WUI definition, only 14 percent of the WUI is developed. If current development patterns continue, development in the WUI will almost certainly grow substantially, resulting in even further increases in wildfire protection costs. With the West perennially ranking as a fast-growth region, WUI development is certain to grow over time. 

Some questions conference participants may address include the following:

  • How should the West plan for, and govern for, wildfire in the WUI?
  • What legal and policy tools are needed to plan for wildfire in the WUI?
  • How should wildfire be implemented into the planning process?
  • What is the role of government in planning for WUI wildfires?
  • What is the role of markets, non-governmental entities, such as HOAs, and insurance in planning for WUI wildfires?
  • How should the secondary effects of wildfire—often aesthetic, flooding, and landslides—be worked into WUI development planning?

We invite discussion of other topics related to WUI wildfire governance and planning, as well.

The conference invites a wide variety of potential contributions from those in federal and state agencies; local governments; planning professionals and academics; as well as legal professionals and academics working on the topic of wildfire in the WUI.  We seek a national representation of panelists, though the conversation will largely focus on western WUI wildfire planning.

We are accepting proposals for presentations with papers and also presentations without papers.

Papers for the symposium will be published in the Idaho Law Review’s peer-reviewed Natural Resources and Environmental Law edition.  To facilitate peer review, first drafts must be submitted no later than August 1, 2018.  Final drafts will be due December 1, 2018.  Publication will occur in Spring, 2019.  Symposium edition articles are typically 3,000 – 6,000 words in length, but may be up to 10,000 words in length.  For those familiar with writing for legal publications, student editors will provide assistance with citations. 

Please submit proposals no later than January 1, 2018 to Prof. Stephen R. Miller at millers@uidaho.edu.

Reasonable travel expenses of presenters will be reimbursed.

Current sponsors of the symposium include:  the Idaho Law Review; the University of Idaho College of Law; the University of Idaho Bioregional Planning + Community Design; and the Boise State University School of Public Service.

Funding for the symposium includes a grant from the U.S. Forest Service and the Idaho Department of Lands.


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