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Social Motivation in The WUI: Ways to Effectively Engage the Public

Presenter: Sarah McCaffrey, USDA Forest Service, Research Forester, Social Science Unit

Description: This webinar provides an overview of what has been learned to date  in relation to different aspects of public response to wildfire  management including risk perception, social acceptance of prescribed  fire and thinning, what makes homeowners more or less willing to create  defensible space, and communication dynamics. Developing an accurate  understanding of public views of fire management is important in  designing policy and outreach that effectively engages the public and  ensures that resources are targeted at the issues that are of actual  rather than perceived public concern. One barrier to effectively  engaging the public may be that many of the accepted descriptions  related to the public and wildfire are based primarily on conventional  wisdoms that may or may not hold.

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