Fire Policy & Law
The Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA) encourages communities to develop community wildfire protection plans (CWPPs) to reduce their wildland fire risk and promote healthier forested ecosystems. Communities who have developed CWPPs have done so using many different processes, resulting in plans with varied form and content. We analyzed data from 13 case-study communities to illustrate how the characteristics of HFRA have encouraged communities to develop CWPPs that reflect their local social and ecological contexts. A framework for analyzing policy implementation suggests that some elements of HFRA could have made CWPP development and implementation problematic, but these potential shortcomings in the statute have provided communities the freedom to develop CWPPs that are relevant to their conditions and allowed for the development of capacities that communities are using to move forward in several areas.