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Wildland‐Urban Interface Maps Vary with Purpose and Context

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Abstract:

Maps of the wildland‐urban interface (WUI) are both policy tools and powerful visual images. Although the growing number of WUI maps serve similar purposes, this article indicates that WUI maps derived from the same data sets can differ in important ways related to their original intended application. We discuss the use of ancillary data in modifying census data to improve WUI maps and offer a cautionary note about this practice. A comparison of two WUI mapping approaches suggests that no single map is “best” because users' needs vary. The analysts who create maps are responsible for ensuring that users understand their purpose, data, and methods; map users are responsible for paying attention to these features and using each map accordingly. These considerations should apply to any analysis but are especially important to analyses of the WUI on which policy decisions will be made.

Keywords: GIS; Healthy Forest Restoration Act; National Fire Plan; fire policy; wildland‐urban interface

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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