Journal Article

Economic evaluation of research to improve the Canadian forest fire danger rating system

James S. Gould, Mike N. Patriquin, Sen Wang, Bonita L. McFarlane and B. Mike Wotton

in Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research

Published on behalf of Institute of Chartered Foresters

Volume 86, issue 3, pages 317-329
Published in print July 2013 | ISSN: 0015-752X
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1464-3626 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cps082

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  • Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science)
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Canada is a largely forested country, and the economic, environmental, and social effects of the country's wildland fire management are of great importance from an industry and public policy perspective. Investment in research can improve the efficiency of wildland fire management and has an important role in the decision-making process. There is a long history of research investment in Canada related to wildland fire management, including the development of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS). To demonstrate the range of net benefits of the CFFDRS to Canadian society, a cost-benefit study was conducted on research related to enhancing the current system. The benefits of research were measured as the difference in economic returns with additional investment in research, primarily achieved through reduction in damages to timber resources and savings in suppression expenditure (the “with-research scenario”) and those that would have resulted with no changes to the current CFFDRS (the “without-research scenario”). A triangular probability distribution was used to address uncertainty and the results indicated high levels of net economic benefit if the CFFDRS were to be enhanced by additional research investment, with “most likely” estimates of net present value ranging from $30 million to $1.5 billion ($Cdn).

Journal Article.  7260 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science) ; Environmental Sustainability ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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