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Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project: Creating Solutions through Community Partnerships

Lucas, A. M. (2015) Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project: Creating Solutions through Community Partnerships. Other. Ecological Restoration Institute, Flagstaff, United States.

2015_ERI_White_Papers_Watershed_WEB_FINAL.pdf - Published Version
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In the past two decades, communities in fire-prone forests across the West have faced increased danger of cata- strophic wildfires. These wildfires have been steadily growing in size and intensity, partly due to the amount of fuel built up from a century of fire suppression and also driven by rising temperatures and drought. These intense wild- fires have burned homes and infrastructure as well as critical natural resources such as watersheds and wildlife habitat. However, hazardous fuel reduction projects — especially on steep slopes adjacent to communities — can be difficult and costly. Cities and towns throughout the West have been grappling with innovative ways to fund forest restoration and protect their water supplies and reduce flooding impacts. An example of one such effort is the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, known as FWPP, in Flagstaff, Arizona. The FWPP emerged from proactive civic leadership that recognized the need to overcome funding limitations and implement hazardous fuel reduction treatments in critical, at-risk watersheds. Several factors contributed to its success, among them the fear of another extreme fire event in the mountains north of town. The purpose of this white paper is to convey to other communities, municipalities, and/or government agencies the administrative functions and mechanisms used by the two primary partners, the City of Flagstaff (City) and the U.S. Forest Service (also referred to as USFS, the forest, the Coconino National Forest, and the National Forest), to develop and implement FWPP. The paper is designed as a case study for other entities considering a similar initiative. This case study spans the first two years of the project (see Figure 1, page 4), from the bond election in November 2012 to December 2014. Personal interviews were conducted with key personnel from the City and the USFS. This report summarizes findings from the interviews and information derived from review of City and USFS internal project documents. The value of this case study is two-fold. First, it is an historical account of what led to the successful passage and start-up of the FWPP. Second, it serves as a guide to the steps (Appendix A) and the mechanisms used to develop and implement a successful private/public/agency partnership. These findings can be used as a foundation to develop a similar initiative designed to achieve community protection through forest management.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Keywords: Ecological Restoration Institute, White Paper, ERI Library
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Department/Unit: Research Centers > Ecological Restoration Institute
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 21:59
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/2297

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