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Fire Hazard Reduction and Economic Opportunity: How Are the Benefits of the National Fire Plan Distributed?

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Abstract:

Fire suppression and hazard reduction were first linked to efforts to create economic opportunity during the 1930 s. In funding the National Fire Plan in 2000, Congress gave the Forest Service and Department of the Interior the authority to consider local benefit to rural communities when awarding service contracts funded with Fire Plan money. This article examines whether this local benefit criteria has created economic opportunities for businesses and people in rural communities by evaluating Forest Service procurement of ecosystem management services across Oregon and Washington and through two case studies of isolated rural communities. Results show that while there was some overall benefit from this directive, some isolated rural communities did not benefit.

Keywords: Forest Service; National Fire Plan; acquisition; community development; community forestry; federal contracting; forest communities; procurement

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920490480705

Affiliations: Ecosystem Workforce Program Institute for a Sustainable Environment, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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