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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2020 → Implementing Fire with Feeling : The Role of Heuristics and Process Modelling in Navigating Social Barriers to Landscape-Scale Prescribed Fire Use in The Southern Great Plains, USA

Texas A&M University (2020)

Implementing Fire with Feeling : The Role of Heuristics and Process Modelling in Navigating Social Barriers to Landscape-Scale Prescribed Fire Use in The Southern Great Plains, USA

Hoffman, James Kelly

Titre : Implementing Fire with Feeling : The Role of Heuristics and Process Modelling in Navigating Social Barriers to Landscape-Scale Prescribed Fire Use in The Southern Great Plains, USA

Auteur : Hoffman, James Kelly

Université de soutenance : Texas A&M University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2020

Résumé
As ecosystems around the world experience unprecedented anthropogenic impacts, the need for a more nuanced understanding of the human decision-making process and how it shapes social-ecological systems has become clear. Models of individual decision-making regarding the use of prescribed fire in rangeland ecosystems are underexplored, yet those decisions can substantially affect the health and resilience of dynamic rangeland ecosystems. In the Southern Great Plains (SGP) of North America, woody plant encroachment during the last 200 years has led to the conversion of large areas of previously grass-dominated rangelands to woody plant-dominated shrublands and woodlands. This has resulted in the decline and loss of grassland plant communities and many ecosystem services they provide. Prescribed fire is a purposeful land management tool that can be used to restore the resilience of native grasslands and to mitigate the contribution of fuel load accumulation to increasingly catastrophic wildfires. Although it has been shown that prescribed fire in the SGP can slow and potentially reverse woody plant encroachment at a landscape-scale, many individuals remain unwilling to utilize this land management practice. To address the challenge of broader application of prescribed fire in rangelands, this research demonstrates that a more practical understanding of individual decision-making is needed to address the effects of heuristics on decision-making in dynamic choice environments. Research was conducted in the Texas-Oklahoma region of the SGP and divided into three stages : 1) three investigatory focus groups, 2) 66 semi-structured key informant fire practitioner interviews, and 3) a multi-phase mailed survey of 1,179 private landowners. Results indicate that heuristic processes, followed by more analytic processes, are utilized in prescribed fire implementation decisions. Further, these decisions may be influenced not only by traditionally recognized barriers to prescribed fire use, but also by inter-barrier relationships identified by this study. Direct impacts of six categories of barriers on the heuristic or analytic nature of fire decisions indicated prescribed fire experience had mixed impacts on decisions, while property ownership for wildlife enterprises was positively correlated with more analytic decision-making. These findings have implications for prescribed fire outreach and education, affordability of insurance for fire practitioners, and future efforts to conceptualize individual decision-making in prescribed fire contexts.

Présentation

Page publiée le 24 mai 2021