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Policy Documents

The current Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (2001) and its Implementation Guidance (2009) offers unprecedented flexibility and opportunity for fire managers to manage wildfires safely, ethically, and with both community protection and ecosystem restoration objectives combined. However, most State and Federal agencies are still aggressively attacking nearly 100% of all fires regardless of their source, location, behavior or effects. Current federal fire policy is great on paper, but lacks full implementation in actions on-the-ground. Below is an archive of essential fire policy documents and reports that are critical for holding the agencies’ feet to the fire to put policy into practice.

DOCUMENTS

Cohesive Strategy for Wildfire Management

FUSEE comments on Cohesive Strategy

National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Cohesive Strategy (Oct. draft)

The 2012 “Hubbard Decree” Banning Wildland Fire Use on National Forests

USFS Deputy Chief Jim Hubbard’s Memo on 2012 Wildfire Guidance (May 25, 2012)

Media Stories About the 2012 Hubbard Decree

“In a Major Policy Reversal, the Forest Service Is Fighting Every Fire This Year — But at What Cost?”
OnEarth Magazine (Aug. 7, 2012)

“Forest Service Now Tries to Tamp Out Every Flame”
Associated Press  (Aug. 17, 2012)

The 2013 Policy Reversal of the Hubbard Decree Re-Authorizing Wildland Fire Use on National Forests

USFS Chief Tom Tidwell’s Letter of Intent on 2013 Fire Season (Feb. 20, 2013)

USFS Wildland Fire Response Protocol (Feb. 2013)

USFS Washington Office’s “Overview of What has Not Changed in Chief’s Letter of Intent” (March 2013)

USFS Chief Tom Tidwell’s Letter of Intent on 2014 Fire Season (Feb. 6, 2014)

USFS Ten Questions: The Risk Decision Framework, 2014

Media Stories on the USFS Reversal of the 2012 Hubbard Decree

“Forest Service Appears to Shift Controversial — and Shortsighted — Firefighting Policy”
OnEarth Magazine  (March 3, 2013)

“Forest Service Hits Reverse on Firefighting Policy”

Public News Service (broadcast on National Public Radio) (March 6, 2013)

Forest Service on Wildfires: Burn, Baby, Burn: The Agency Appears to Have Backed Off Its Controversial “Aggressive Initial Attack” Strategy for Wildfires
Mother Jones  (March 8, 2013)

“Forest Service May Let More Fires Burn This Year After Coming in $400M Over Budget Last Year”
FOX News.com (March 8, 2013)

“U.S. Forest Service Adopts New (Old) Wildfire Policy”
KBOI2.com (Boise, ID)

Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy Documents

The Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and Program Review (1995)

Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and Program Review: Implementation Action Plan (1996)

Managing Wildland Fire: From Policy to Implementation

Review and Update of the 1995 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (2001)

Guidance for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (2009)

Decision Not to Approve New or Continued Wildland Fire Use or Prescribed Fire

Appropriate Management Response: Northern Rockies 2007

Reports on the History and Future of Federal Fire Policy

Wildland Fire Management Futures: Insights from a Foresight Panel (2015)

Quadrennial Fire Review (2014)

Quadrennial Fire Review (2009)

Quadrennial Fire and Fuel Review Report (2005)

A Test of Adversity and Strength: Wildland Fire in the National Park Service

Congressional Research Service Report: Forest Fires and Forest Management

National Academy of Public Administration Reports

Study of the Implementation of the Federal Wildland Fire Policy, Phase I

Western Governor’s Association Fire Policy

A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment: A 10 Year Comprehensive Strategy

A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment: A 10 Year Comprehensive Strategy Implementation Plan

General Accounting Office (GAO) Reports

GAO Report to Congressional Requesters: Wildland Fire Management (Sept. 2007)

Wildland Fire Management: Lack of Clear Goals or a Strategy Hinders Federal Agencies’ Efforts to Contain the Costs of Fighting Fires (June 2007)

Wildfire Suppression: Funding Transfers Cause Project Cancellations and Delays, Strained Relationships, and Management Disruptions (June 2004)

Severe Wildland Fires: Leadership and Accountability Needed to Reduce Risks to Communities and Resources (Jan. 2002)

Western National Forests: Catastrophic Wildfires Threaten Resources and Communities (May 2006)

The National Fire Plan: Federal Agencies Are Not Organized To Effectively and Efficiently Implement the Plan (Jul. 2001)

Reducing Wildfire Threats: Funds Should be Targeted to the Highest Risk Areas (Sep. 2000)

Fire Management: Lessons Learned From the Cerro Grande (Los Alamos) Fire (Jul. 2000)

Federal Wildfire Activities: Current Strategy and Issues Needing Attention (Aug. 1999)

Western National Forests: Status of Forest Service’s Efforts to Reduce Catastrophic Wildfire Threats (Jun. 1999)

Western National Forests: A Cohesive Strategy is Needed to Address Catastrophic Wildfire Threats (Apr. 1999)

Western National Forests: Nearby Communities are Increasingly Threatened by Catastrophic Wildfires (Feb. 1999)