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Environmental justice and U.S. Forest Service hazardous fuels reduction: a spatial method for impact assessment of federal resource management actions

Author(s): Mark D. Adams, Susan Charnley
Year Published: 2018
Description:

Natural resource managers of federal lands in the USA are often tasked with various forms of social and economic impact analysis. Federal agencies in the USA also have a mandate to analyze the potential environmental justice consequences of their activities. Relatively little is known about the environmental justice impacts of natural resource management in rural areas. Quantitative environmental justice analyses have so far heavily favored urban populations, in part owing to the difficulty of quantitative analysis of rural U.S. Census data. We developed a spatial method for integrating rural U.S. Census data with natural resource management data to address this gap. The method learns from methodological advances in overcoming the spatial limitations of Census data, but prioritizes a simple, efficient technique that is applicable not only for identifying potential environmental justice problems, but also to a potentially broad spectrum of natural resource management activities and spatial scales. We pilot test the method by analyzing the hazardous fuels reduction activities of two national forests in central Oregon, USA. We find no evidence of systematic environmental justice issues on either forest, but identify local areas that warrant additional investigation.

Citation: Adams, Mark D. O.; Charnley, Susan. 2018. Environmental justice and U.S. Forest Service hazardous fuels reduction: a spatial method for impact assessment of federal resource management actions. Applied Geography 90:257-271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2017.12.014
Topic(s): Fire Policy & Law
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Management or Planning Document
NRFSN number: 17424
FRAMES RCS number: 26004
Record updated: Apr 4, 2018