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National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Phase I) Now Available

April 1, 2011


Return to the April 1
issue of On Scene


IAFC On Scene: April 1, 2011

On March 28, federal land-management agencies announced the completion of phase I of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. IAFC, under the leadership of its Wildland Fire Policy Committee, was pleased to serve as a partner in this effort.

The Cohesive Strategy addresses the nation’s wildland-fire problems by focusing on three key areas:

  • Restore and Maintain Resilient Landscapes
  • Fire Adapted Communities 
  • Response to Wildland Fire

The cohesive strategy effort utilizes a collaborative, science-based approach with active involvement of all levels of government and nongovernmental organizations, as well as the public, to seek solutions to wildland-fire management issues on all lands.

The development of the Cohesive Strategy was directed by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council in response to requirements of the Federal Land Assistance, Management, and Enhancement Act of 2009. This week’s announcement marks the completion of phase I of the three-phase project. The cohesive-strategy effort is being implemented in three phases, allowing stakeholders to systematically and thoroughly develop a dynamic approach to planning for, responding to and recovering from wildland fires.

Phase I: National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Phase I involved the development of two reports:

  • A National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
  • The Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act of 2009 Report to Congress

Together, these reports provide the foundation for the entire cohesive-strategy effort.

Fourteen listening forums were held across the nation in April through June 2010. More than 400 participants representing federal, state, tribal, local and nongovernmental organizations discussed their concerns about land management and wildland fire-related risks. The input from these forums was included in the Cohesive Strategy.

Next Steps

Phases II and III will implement the direction articulated in the phase I reports. Currently, the Cohesive Strategy Oversight Committee is developing a proposed collaborative planning and analysis process to implement phases II and III.

Phase II will include the development of regional goals, objectives and a portfolio of actions and activities. An integral part of the proposed implementation timeline includes the designation of a regional strategy committee for each of the three regions (Northeast, Southeast and West), as outlined in the Cohesive Strategy. These committees will provide executive leadership and oversight to the planning process within their respective regions.

Building on the work and progress of phase II, a national risk tradeoff analysis will be performed in phase III. The analysis will inform the proposed strategic-tradeoffs discussion among stakeholders.

To learn more about the Cohesive Strategy and information surrounding its next phase, visit the Forests and Rangelands website.