Land treatments in wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas are highly visible and subject to public scrutiny and possible opposition. This study examines a contested vegetation treatment-Forsythe II-in a WUI area of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado. An initial phase of the research found vocal opposition to Forsythe II. The purpose of the present study was to understand how well the resistance narrative represented the broader community in the WUI area affected by the Forsythe II treatments. More than one third (36%) of households responded to a census survey focused on Forsythe II, demographics, wildfire risk perceptions, and variables associated with generic land management activities and place attachment. Overall, while public opposition to Forsythe II has resulted in a nearly 25% reduction in the project’s size, the survey data demonstrate that just over a quarter of respondents (27%) opposed or strongly opposed the Forsythe II project, and the majority of survey respondents reported broad support for forest management approaches similar to those detailed in the project plans. Notably, a similar portion (28%) did not report an opinion on the project. Results include a systematic comparison of opinion/no opinion respondents.
Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Jahn, Jody L. S.; Vance, Eric A.; Ahumada, Juan. 2020. Resistance and representation in a wildland-urban interface fuels treatment conflict: the case of the Forsythe II project in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. Fire 3(1):2.