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Alan E. Watson, Roian Matt, Tim Waters, Kari Gunderson, Stephen J. Carver, Brett Davis
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Communication & Education
Public Perspectives of Fire Management
Fire Effects
Fire & Economics
Fire & Wilderness
Wildland Urban Interface
Montane wet mixed-conifer forest, Montane dry mixed-conifer forest

NRFSN number: 11063
FRAMES RCS number: 12918
Record updated:

On the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, U.S., the Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness is bordered by a buffer zone. To successfully improve forest health within that buffer zone and restore fire in the wilderness, the managing agency and the public need to work together to find solutions to increasingly threatening fuel buildups. A combination of qualitative, culturally sensitive research and a web-based mapping exercise have been used to develop understanding of the tradeoffs Reservation residents describe in relation to potential buffer zone actions. The primary meanings Tribal members associate with the Buffer Zone are protection of the wilderness, wildlife and water quality, access and functional attachments, recreation and scenic values, and personal and cultural meanings. To build trust among both tribal and non-tribal residents, fire planners must understand how proposed actions interact with values at risk assigned by the local community and describe a prioritization process that addresses publicly perceived threats.


Watson, Alan; Matt, Roian; Waters, Tim; Gunderson, Kari; Carver, Steve; Davis, Brett. 2009. Mapping tradeoffs in values at risk at the interface between wilderness and non-wilderness lands. In: González-Cabán, Armando, ed. Proceedings of the third international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: common problems and approaches. PSW-GTR-227. Albany, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. 375-387.