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Factors that Influence Administrative Appeals of Proposed USDA Forest Service Fuels Reduction Actions

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Using the database developed by the General Accounting Office on proposed fuels reduction actions on federal lands in 2001 and 2002, we conduct probit regression analysis to identify factors that significantly affect the likelihood of administrative appeal. The likelihood of appeal of a proposed fuels reduction action is significantly increased by (1) the size of area affected, (2) the number of proposed activities at the site, (3) when one of the stated purposes is commodity production (timber and sawlogs), (4) when one of the stated purposes is reduction of project-generated fuels, (5) implementation involves prescribed burning or mechanical thinning, and (6) the presence of at least one species of mammal at risk of extinction in the immediate vicinity of the site. Conversely, the likelihood of appeal is significantly reduced if (7) implementation is handled by Forest Service personnel or using a service contract, and (8) the proposed action is located in a Wildland–Urban Interface area. However, we also observe persistent regional effects, with fuels reduction proposals in Region 1 (3, 6, 8) characterized by a significantly higher (lower) likelihood of appeal than proposals in the other regions.

Keywords: Forest fuels reduction; Healthy Forests and Restoration Act; bivariate probit with sample selection; forest policy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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