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The Burning Question: The Future of Wildland Fire Management

The Conference Board of Canada, August 6, 2015
Recorded Webinar
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Wildland fire management faces unprecedented challenges in the 21st century: The growing costs of fire management, growing populations, urban sprawl, and the rise of high-impact fires are causing great concern among wildfire experts. These issues, coupled with the increasingly apparent effects of climate change, are making many question whether conventional approaches will be effective in the future. Now, more than ever, innovative and forward-thinking approaches to wildland fire management are needed. But where to start?

In this webinar, Dr. David Bengston, social scientist and environmental futurist with the United States Forest Service, will discuss the findings from a recent study that was conducted by a foresight panel consisting of leading academic and professional futurists outside of the wildfire community and two wildfire professionals.

Webinar Highlights

During this webinar, Dr. Bengston explores:

  • The context for wildland fire management as a whole;
  • The uncertainty about future fire conditions and why it is significantly greater than is recognized in current planning;
  • Why the traditional fire prevention and suppression approach to wildfire management will prove unsustainable as our climate and weather conditions change;
  • A new emerging fire resilience approach that can be an alternative to traditional practices;
  • The strong short-term barriers to adopting the fire resilience approach, and why its adoption is nearly inevitable between now and mid-century.

About David

Photo of David BengstonDr. David N. Bengston is a Social Scientist and Environmental Futurist with the US Forest Service and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota, where he has taught courses on Ecological Economics, Forest Economics, and the Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Management.

He is the author of over 120 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications on a wide range of topics including the economics of technical change in forestry and changing environmental values and what they imply for forest management and policy. The current focus of his research is environmental futures.

David has worked as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and was an OECD Research Fellow at Seoul National University in South Korea. Dr. Bengston holds a PhD in Forest Economics from the University of Minnesota.

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