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National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: Draft Western Regional Action Plan Released

The challenges presented by wildfire today, from the heavy vegetation on forests and rangelands to the communities at risk situated near these tinderboxes, are simply too complex to solve alone. To address these challenges, a broad cross-section of stakeholders has formed A National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy…

The Western Regional Action Plan is part of the culmination of a three-year effort put into motion by the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act of 2009 (FLAME Act). Representatives of federal, state, local, and tribal governments, scientists, interested governmental and nongovernmental organizations, businesses and industries worked together to develop a regional approach to achieving the goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: Restore and Maintain Landscapes, Fire Adapted Communities, and Wildfire Response. The Western Regional Action Plan was developed with stakeholder input in an inclusive and transparent process. It is a dynamic document that will be updated continually and modified on a five-year basis to best focus on the issues of concern in terms of wildland fire in the West.

The Western Regional Action Plan is a science-based roadmap to direct a truly western approach to wildland fire that holistically addresses the needs of the landscape, the communities, and the brave men and women who respond when fire occurs. The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: Phase III Western Regional Science-Based Risk Analysis Report of 2012 examined the existing situation in the West, including biophysical and social factors, and set forth recommendations for reducing wildfire risk, improving forest and rangeland health, protecting communities from wildfire, and enhancing firefighting effectiveness and firefighter and public safety. The Action Plan builds upon these recommendations -- detailing actions, tasks, suggested lead and collaborating agencies, and the timeframes in which those actions and tasks should take place. The recommendations fall into four categories – overarching actions, actions to restore and maintain landscapes, actions to promote fire adapted communities, and actions to promote fire response. In addition, there are recommendations for monitoring and accountability, so that movement toward the goals can be assessed, and course corrections can be made as necessary. Annual review and a five-year cycle of updating will institutionalize the Cohesive Strategy and its philosophy of shared responsibility for generations to come.

Draft Regional Action Plans for each of the Cohesive Strategy Regions - the Northeast, Southeast, and West - were submitted to the Wildland Fire Executive Council (WFEC) on March 5, 2013. The Action Plans were developed through a collaborative, intergovernmental, and public process. The Plans will be reviewed and considered for concurrence at the April 5, 2013, WFEC meeting.

Download the DRAFT Western Regional Action Plan, March 2013 (PDF, 1.7 MB).

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