Title

Best Practices for Implementing Payment for Ecosystem Service Programs for Watershed Wildfire Protection

Date of Award

11-11-2015

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Advisor

Jerry Barker

Keywords

Wildfire; Prescribed fire; Watershed; Watershed wildfire protection; Hazard fuels; Fuels reduction treatments; Payment for ecosystem services; PES; Best management practices

Abstract

Aggressive fire-suppression policies in the 20th century, as well as the effects of climate change, have resulted in severe wildfires that increasingly pose risks to municipal watersheds and the ecosystem services that they provide. The fuels treatments that can mitigate these risks are often underfunded, and consequently, many communities are seeking alternative mechanisms to fund these treatments. Watershed payment for ecosystem service (PES) programs are among these mechanisms. Drawing on relevant literature and on interview results with ten stakeholders in six fire-related watershed PES programs, this capstone examines how PES programs are designed and implemented. In addition, this capstone presents a set of best management practices for stakeholders interested in developing and implementing PES programs for watershed wildfire protection.

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