Book on Wildfire Policy Research Slated for Fall Release

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Offering a critical evaluation of wildfire management from economic and policy perspectives, more than one dozen experts from the U.S. and Australia contributed to a new book born out of a symposium held last year at the University of Arizona. 

On the heels of an intense fire season in the southwestern region, "Wildfire Policy: Law and Economics Perspectives" is being published by Resources for the Future Press in December.
The book broadly considers issues related to climate change, land development on the urban-wildland interface, tort liability, property management, homeownership, climate change, and suppression practices in both the public and private spheres.
"In recent years, the U.S. has experienced more and larger fires and attendant costly damages to people and property.  There are many critics out there but little analysis," said Dean Lueck, a UA agricultural and resource economics professor. 

Blame has been placed on a range of players – government agencies, policies and property owners being among them.

"The goal is to stimulate scholars and policy makers and administrators to collect data and study the issues to gain understanding," said Lueck, who also co-directs the UA's Program on Economics, Law and the Environment.

"The lack of empirically based analysis makes it impossible to assess these critiques and the related issues," Lueck said. "The book and the authors all recognize this and offer a beginning to serious inquiry to these question and do so from the perspective of law and economics."

Lueck is a contributing co-editor of the book with Karen Bradshaw, clerk to the Honorable E. Grady Jolly in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A wildfire management symposium held last fall served as the impetus for the book.
With wildfires in the last two decades showing increased intensity, the contributors set out to investigate timely and relevant issues. Among the questions: Who should manage wildfires? When it comes to controls, what is cost-efficient? Should liability rules for runaway fires be shifted?

Read the rest of this August 8 article at the UANews link below.

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