The Mapping, Prioritization, and Public Participation (M3P) tool: Considering Wildfire Planning, Management, and Restoration
In recent years, catastrophic wildfire has transformed ecosystems and displaced human communities in the western United States. In addressing this challenge, managers, tribal officials, and community leaders face difficult decisions about management of fire-prone and post-fire landscapes. Fundamentally, these decisions need to consider diverse (and sometime conflicting) public perceptions about what landscape benefits are important, where those benefits are derived, and how the increasing threat of fire is relevant. While the importance of social perceptions and public participation within wildfire planning is established, there is still a need to understand the specifics around the practice of engaging the public within wildfire planning. This presentation begins with an introduction to an established public participation tool, which can provide managers and planners with a scientifically rigorous understanding of the diverse publics, which can inform decision-making, as well as communication and public relations. The second part of the seminar presentation engages the audience in an open discussion around the ways that the public participation approach can support post-fire restoration planning, both generally and within a specific planning case in Northern California.