Ecological and social “place” mapping to assist bushfire management and research

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Fire Management
TitleEcological and social “place” mapping to assist bushfire management and research
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2012
AuthorsReid, K, Beilin, R
Conference NameIAWF 3rd Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference, Seattle, WA, 17-19 April 2012
Abstractstrategy implies that individual assets and threats in the landscape can be identified and that planning can proceed on that basis. The question that arises however is who decides what is an asset and what is a threat when multiple values are being managed within multiple management regimes. We argue that bushfire knowledge encompasses technical constructs based on for example, the science of fire ecology or fire danger indices; and social constructs grounded in assumptions about how different types of landscapes should be managed (e.g. for biodiversity, amenity or production). Fire management agencies prioritize scientific-technical solutions to wildfire prediction and control. Consequently, the ‘social’ revolves around one-way knowledge transfer, communicating the science to people living in fire-prone communities. We apply resilience thinking to bushfire research by focusing on complex and interdependent social and ecological systems as linked domains of understanding. Using the metaphor of ‘landscape’ as the location where social and ecological systems are entwined (e.g. Meinig 1979), we explore bushfire as a physical reality comprised of topographies, and ecological systems; and as a social process involving practices of negotiation and interpretation that shape landscape management. ...
Refereed DesignationRefereed