Wildfires continue to ravage large swaths of the western United States. In part, the disparity in wildfire severity we see between the eastern and western half of the U.S. is due to different management practices. The West is comprised of more public land whereas eastern forests are often private, and public land is managed very differently than private land. Certainly, wildfires are a natural and healthy part of forest ecosystems but a century of fire suppression has made forests more susceptible to large, catastrophic fires. Currently, the U.S. Forest Service faces an 80 million-acre backlog. Addressing this on the agency’s own would take decades. That’s where private partners can help.
PERC research fellows Holly Fretwell and Jonathan Wood sit down with Caleb O. Brown of the Cato Daily Podcast to discuss the opportunity markets present to manage federal lands in a way that imposes fewer costs on the people who live near them.