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The Influence of Environmental Value Orientation and Climate Change Beliefs on the Firewise Behaviors of Central Oregon Residents Public Deposited

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  • Over the past two decades, the western United States has experienced many of the costliest and most severe wildfires in history. To mitigate the effects of the growing threats posed by wildfires, residents in at-risk communities are encouraged to protect their homes and property by adopting Firewise recommendations. This article examines the influence of environmental value orientation and climate change beliefs on resident’s decisions to participate in Firewise behaviors. The population was drawn from six counties in Central Oregon that are prone to wildfires. Using previous empirical research and the tenets of the cognitive hierarchy, a path model that connected environmental value orientation, climate change beliefs, risk perceptions and Firewise behaviors was created. Multiple path analysis models determined that environmental value orientation significantly influenced climate change beliefs, the belief that climate change caused wildfires made one more likely to participate in Firewise behaviors, and the relationship between beliefs and behaviors was partially mediated by risk perception. These results confirmed the hypotheses and were consistent with both previous literature and the theoretical assumptions of the cognitive hierarchy.
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