Thursday, January 28, 2016
As I reported on this blog earlier this year, I am currently working on a project with the U.S. Forest Service and the Idaho Department of Lands to use land use planning to reduce the effects of wildfire in the wildland-urban interface. In that vein, I was excited to read a recent publication that came out this month from Montana-based Headwaters Economics. The report, Land Use Planning to Reduce Wildfire Risk: Lessons from Five Western Cities, provides a tremendous amount of information about how five forward-looking cities have taken great leaps forward to address wildfire while still permitting appropriate development. Here is the abstract of the report:
- Wildfires increasingly are an urban problem, often repeatedly impacting the same communities over time.
- Climate change impacts coupled with ongoing development within the wildland-urban interface (WUI) exacerbate wildfire risks
- This report profiles how five urban areas in the West are using land use planning tools to reduce wildfire risks.
- Individual case studies provide valuable examples and lessons for other communities to learn from in their efforts to mitigate wildfire risks.
Wildfires across the American West are increasing in frequency, size, and severity. The impacts from climate change, coupled with ongoing development within the wildland-urban interface (WUI), further exacerbate the risks from wildfires. In response, some urban areas in the West are addressing the growing threat of wildfires using innovative land use planning tools.