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In Spring 2011, the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network (NRFSN) asked managers about topics for which they need better access to research.

Survey respondents were given a list of 24 research topics. They were asked to "rank the top 3 choices [for which better access to research is needed], with 1 being your top choice, 2 being your 2nd choice, and 3 being your 3rd choice" The following graphs show how frequently each topic was ranked as one of the top three. Results are shown for the following groups: Fire/Fuels Managers, Decision Makers, and Other Disciplinary Specialists (i.e., natural resource managers and silviculturists).

Summary: These results varied greatly by group. Fire/Fuels Specialists indicated they needed better access to research on fire behavior prediction/modeling and public communication/education; Decision Makers indicated they needed bettter access to research on risk assessment and climate-fire dynamics; Other Disciplinary Specialists indicated they needed better access to research on ecological fire effects (flora, fauna, soil, water); and Tribal Land Managers indicated they needed better access to research on landscape fuel assessment as well as cultural and ecological fire effects.

Fire / Fuels Specialists (Figure 1)

Fire and fuels specialists said they needed better access to research on fire behavior prediction/modeling, public communication/education, fire effects on invasives, public perspectives on fire/fire management, and ecological fire effects (flora, fauna, soil, water).

Need Better Access to Research on these Topics (Fire / Fuels Specialists)Figure 1. Need Better Access to Research on these Topics (Fire / Fuels Specialists)

Decision Makers (Figure 2)

Line and staff officers said they needed better access to research on risk assessment, climate-fire dynamics, human factors of safety, decision support tools, and fire behavior prediction/modeling.

Need Better Access to Research on these Topics (Decision Makers)Figure 2. Need Better Access to Research on these Topics (Decision Makers)

Other Disciplinary Specialists (Figure 3)

Natural resource managers and silviculturists said they needed better access to research on ecological fire effects (flora, fauna, soil, water), fire effects on T&E species, fire history/fire regime, and fire effects on invasives. Next, post-fire restoration/rehabilitation, landscape fuel assessment, and climate-fire dynamics were all ranked similarly.

Need Better Access to Research on these Topics (Other Disciplines)Figure 3. Need Better Access to Research on these Topics (Other Disciplines)

Tribal Survey Results

In contrast, tribal land managers said they needed better access to research on landscape fuel assessment, cultural fire effects, ecological fire effects (flora, fauna, soil, water), fuel treatment prescriptions, and fuel treatment techniques.