Wildfire risk management : strategic interaction and spatial interdependence Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9k41zh662

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  • In this dissertation, I examine how the spatial configuration of forest ownership influences the risk-mitigating behavior of public and private forestland owners over time. I determine whether or not the predicted equilibrium outcomes are socially optimal and, if not, whether the introduction of regulation, liability, or private insurance would lead to socially optimal outcomes. Because both individual and collective actions affect wildfire risk, this problem is well suited to game theory and the analysis of strategic behavior. I use a game theoretic framework to examine how the public landowner's investment in fuel management influences, and is influenced by, decisions made by private forestland owners. I find that spatial configuration and location affect the timing and amount of fuel treatment on the landscape. There is less investment in fuel management on landscapes characterized by fragmented ownerships. I also find that the nature of the strategic interaction between landowners depends on whether there are constant, increasing, or decreasing returns to investment in fuel management. To address the inefficiencies in fire risk management, I find that a fuel stock regulation offers the greatest potential to improve outcomes on a landscape with mixed ownership.
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