Engaging Local Officials for Wildfire Risk Reduction

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Organizations that are trying to implement policies engaging residents to reduce wildfire risk find it difficult to get buy-in from local officials which is necessary for effective and sustainable wildlife risk reduction. One perceived challenge in getting this buy-in is a lack of knowledge and understanding about the risk posed ­by wildfire to the elected official’s constituents amongst the other hazards considered for overall community risk reduction.

Elected or traditional local officials are considered to be policy makers and implementers at the municipal or community level that have jurisdiction or influence over a defined area and constituents. This project would draw examples from case studies to learn from successes and failures in implementing policy that reduces wildfire risk. The goal is to show that by engaging local officials early and effectively the efforts have more sustainability because they become engrained in the local policy.

Research goal: This project seeks to provide guidance that will assist organizations in communicating with local officials the risk posed by wildfire to communities and the value of implementing risk reduction policies that engage residents in the solution.