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Alternate Expressions for the Economic Theory of Forest Fire Management

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Two traditional economic efficiency criteria, minimization of cost plus net value change versus profit maximization, are compared in terms of the insights provided into fire management decisions. The historic rationale for favoring minimization over maximization is examined and questioned. Advantages of formulating the problem in terms of profit maximization include explicit attention to production relations obscured by previous graphical representations of the minimization criterion. The maximization formulation also facilitates more explicit treatment of revenue and objective functions. For illustration, we show the correspondence between fire management decisions and the firm with two inputs (presuppression, suppression) and two outputs (reductions in fire intensity and area burned). For. Sci. 36(3):614-624.

Keywords: Cost plus net value change; least cost plus loss; wildfire economics

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forest Fire Science, Dept. of Forest and Wood Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523

Publication date: September 1, 1990

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