Skip to main content
Katie Knotek, Alan E. Watson
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Behavior
Extreme Fire Behavior
Case Studies
Fire Communication & Education
Public Perspectives of Fire Management
Fire & Wilderness
Fuel Treatments & Effects
Prescribed Fire-use treatments

NRFSN number: 10984
FRAMES RCS number: 2610
Record updated:

In the fall of 2003, the Rocky Mountain Ranger District of the Lewis and Clark National Forest initiated a multi-year, large-scale prescribed burn in the Scapegoat Wilderness. The objectives of this burn were to make the non-wilderness side of the wilderness boundary more defensible from wildfire and to establish conditions that will allow fire to play a more natural role within the wilderness in the future. Using this prescribed burn as a case study, qualitative research was conducted in 2005 to understand the local ranger district's public outreach efforts and its subsequent influence on public attitudes towards the burn. A series of in-depth interviews with agency personnel involved in the burn, and representatives from local communities who were aware of and/or participated in public outreach efforts for the burn, were the primary sources of data for this research. A framework of mindfulness processes exhibited by high reliability organizations was used in analysis for identifi cation and understanding of organizational characteristics that contribute to success in engaging the public in Forest Service efforts to treat hazardous fuels and manage risk from wildfire. As a case study, the methods and results provide a means of comparison to additional cases on other management units.


Knotek, Katie; Watson, Alan E. 2006. Organizational characteristics that contribute to success in engaging the public to accomplish fuels management at the wilderness/non-wilderness interface. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. Fuels management - How to measure success, conference proceedings. 2006 March 28-30; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 703-713.