Themes and Current Projects


  • Accomplishing cross-boundary restoration
  • Wildland fire policy and management
  • Forest governance
  • Rural economies and land use
  • Developing strategies for conservation-based economic development in communities surrounded by public lands
  • Evaluating socioeconomic impacts of natural resource policy on rural communities, businesses, and workers
  • Educating policy makers about the effects of policy on rural community wellbeing and strategies for integrating ecological health and economic vitality


Current, Recent, and Ongoing Projects:

Community-Based Organizations, Social Networks, and Conservation: Strategies for Rural Economic Development in the West
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

The purpose of EWP’s research on community-based organizations is to understand how they accomplish both local economic development and broader institutional change and the challenges they face in their efforts to reinvent the social and economic relationships between communities and nearby lands and waters. 


The Forest Service and Communities
US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region

This project aims to help the Forest Service and its partners better understand and communicate the social and economic contexts in which the Forest Service operates and document Forest Service impacts in advancing sustainable natural resources-based economies. 


Forest Service Restoration Strategies
US Forest Service Washington Office

This project independently investigated two of these Forest Service's recent initiatives designed to accelerate cross-boundary, collaborative, and integrated restoration: the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) and the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership (JCLRP). 


Iconic Places of the US Forest Service 
US Forest Service Washington Office

This project takes a closer look at Forest Service areas that have been protected either through congression designation or by the President via proclamation under the authority of the Antiquities Act.


Managing the Market: How Procurement Practices Impact Private Sector Wildfire Response Capacity

Joint Fire Science Program

This project explored the effects of administration of Forest Service fire suppression contracting on the contracting markets and business capacity, including; (1) how administrative practices influence the contracting market structure, and (2) what business models suppression contractors use to develop and maintain their businesses and meet wildfire suppression needs.


Mountain Pine Beetle Response
National Science Foundation

This is a National Science Foundation-funded research project studying drivers, governance responses, and social-ecological feedbacks associated with Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreaks on national forestlands in the western U.S. 


Northwest Fire Science Consortium
Pacific Northwest Research Station/Joint Fire Sciences Program

To develop a consortium to improve delivery of scientific information and tools to people engaged in wildfire and smoke management, and hazardous fuels reduction.Collaborators: Multiple at Oregon State University, USDA Forest Service, Washington State University, and Sustainable Northwest. See the current NWFSC management team here


Prescribed Fire Policy
Joint Fire Science Program

This research investigates policies that limit managers’ ability to conduct prescribed fire on US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in the 11 Western states. 


Resilience in National Forest Planning
Joint Fire Science Program

This research investigates how the concept of resilience has been operationalized within the U.S. Forest Service, what obstacles to achieving resilience have been identified, and what solutions appear to hold promise for overcoming the complexities of managing for resilience.


Wildfire Resilience

USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture

This project explored how federal policies interact with social conditions at the community level to reduce wildfire impacts. The goals of this project were to: (1) explain interactions among socioeconomic vulnerability, community adaptive capacity, and wildfire planning and mitigation; and (2) identify how these dimensions influence resilience in rural, fire-prone communities.


Past Projects and Objectives:


Dry Forest Investment Zone
Sustainable Northwest/US Endowment for Forests and Communities/USDA Rural Development/Wallowa Resources/The Watershed Research and Training Center

To foster rural economic development through multiple strategies for sustainable forest stewardship. Strategies include broadening value streams for landowners, fostering woody biomass utilization, increasing community collaborative capacity, engaging with policy makers, and monitoring impacts. Our role is primarily in policy and monitoring.More. Collaborators: Sustainable Northwest, Wallowa Resources, Watershed Research and Training Center


Economic Effects of Large Wildfires 
Joint Fire Sciences Program (with the USDA Forest Service Northern and Rocky Mtn. Research Stations)

To determine the effects of large wildfires on rural labor markets during and after wildfires, and how local fire suppression spending may mitigate those effects.  More.Collaborators: USDA Forest Service Northern and Rocky Mountain Research Stations.


Enhancing the Capacity of Small and Medium-Sized Ranch and Forestry Operations to Prosper from Payments for Ecosystem Services 
Oregon State University/USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

To understand the barriers and opportunities for small forest and rangeland owners to receive payments for ecosystem services and the roles that community-based organizations are playing in assisting those opportunities; and to provide policy recommendations. Project webpageCollaborators: Oregon State University; Sustainable Northwest


The Socioeconomic Outcomes of Restoration
USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station


Sustainability, Ecosystem Services, and Bioenergy Development Across the Americas
Michigan Technological University, National Science Foundation

To understand the social, economic, and ecological impacts of biofuels development in US, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. Collaborators: Many universities in the US and case study countries