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Contact Us:

Mikel Robinson
Executive Director

International Association of Wildland Fire
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1418 Washburn Street
Missoula, Montana 59801 USA

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(01) (406) 531-8264
Toll Free from US & Canada:
(888) 440-IAWF (4293)

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execdir@iawfonline.org































 

 

Making a Difference; Building Capacity, Improving Preparedness, and Learning From Experience

Background

The wildland fire environment in the United States is undergoing profound ecological, social, and political changes. As a result, noticeable expansion in wildfire behavior and area burned, risk to responders and citizens, losses of homes and property, costs, and threats to communities and landscapes is occurring. To better prepare for and address this situation, a National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy to comprehensively address wildland fire management across all lands in the United States was developed. This Cohesive Strategy is by far the most comprehensive, timely, and applicable strategy ever developed for wildland fire management. It sets broad, strategic, and national-level direction as a foundation for implementing actions and activities nationwide. It provides an all-inclusive and pertinent vision for wildland fire and society for the next century. 

That vision is to safely and effectively extinguish fire, when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and as a Nation, live with wildland fire.

The primary, national goals identified as necessary to achieving the vision are restore and maintain landscapes, Fire-adapted communities,Wildfire response

 

These goals effectively cover major issues we are facing in wildland fire management now and in the future and are significant challenges that cannot be left unaddressed. 
In order to maintain focus and strengthen Cohesive Strategy activities, a national workshop was held in 2017. This workshop addressed the role of science in supporting implementation and identified processes to ensure science integration in all planning and implementation activities. While this workshop was very successful and significant milestone, two important lessons emerged from it. First, since planning and implementation activities to meet challenges identified by the Cohesive Strategy have not been fully examined, there is much to be learned from experiences to date and a strong need for continuing discussions that warrant a stage like a national workshop. Second, wildland fire issues facing society today and into the future are not declining but are, in fact, escalating. There is a timely need to continue, and accelerate, a comprehensive program of work to focus on these issues. As a result, it has been determined that a second workshop will be held in 2018 to continue the direction established by the first workshop and to support Cohesive Strategy activities.

About the 2018 Workshop

The 2nd National Cohesive Strategy Workshop theme is: Making a Difference – Building Capacity, Improving Preparedness, and Learning From Experience.

The workshop will be innovative, constructive, and thought-provoking. It will bring together a wide range of interested and involved parties to discuss the Cohesive Strategy. It will be conducted under a traditional workshop structure where a neutral forum will allow and facilitate discussion, working sessions, brainstorming, and information dissemination about planning and implementation status, management treatments, policy, and latest relevant research findings. 

The workshop will be resolute in its focus on building capacity in practitioners, improving preparedness to meet challenges, and to provide opportunities to learn from past experiences – both positive and negative experiences. It will be an opportunity for interested individuals to participate rather than only listen, to provide input, ask questions, and share important information. Attendees will be able to be active participants, not just passive listeners. It will blend science and experience into practices and processes and will fill an important gap that is not currently being filled. 

The workshop will inspire collaborative interaction that can only be considered mission critical and operationally supportive for all individuals and organizations having an interest and role in making a difference in wildland fire management across the country. No other forum will offer the opportunities presented by this workshop.

Objectives

Provide clear understanding of the importance of all Cohesive Strategy planning and implementation across the entire country (leaders intent on why, where we are now, and where we will be in the future – state of the strategy and implementation).

Reinforce the timeliness of this national strategy and workshop, promote awareness of their importance, value, and accomplishments, and reinforce the need for sustained energy and actions.

Provide learning opportunities from past experiences for all attendees in implementing the Cohesive Strategy now and into the future.

Improve preparedness for wildland fire management challenges by promoting discussion and information dissemination about planning and implementation status, collaborative activities, scale of activities, nation-wide accomplishments and milestones, management treatments, and policy.

Build capacity for planning and implementing activities in support of the Cohesive Strategy.

Develop recommendations for documenting continuing actions on this subject.