Themes and Current Projects


  • Accomplishing cross-boundary restoration and wildfire risk reduction
  • 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:

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.

EWP-RVCC Collaboration

EWP collaborates closely with the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC) to help address emerging policy and practice needs in the US West. RVCC is a coalition of more than 80 nonprofit, public, and private organizations that envisions healthy landscapes and vibrant rural communities across the American West. EWP faculty have served as founding and ongoing leadership team members of RVCC; and have led or contributed to numerous reports, events, and outcomes through this important partnership.

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. 

Federal Forest Restoration Program Monitoring for the Oregon Department of Forestry
Oregon Department of Forestry

The Federal Forest Restoration Program (FFR Program) is a partnership between the state of Oregon, federal forest managers, and public lands stakeholders to increase forest resilience and economic opportunity on federal forestlands across Oregon. The program is administered by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) with the overall goal to increase the resilience of Oregon’s federal forests, in a manner that leverages collaborative efforts and contributes to the long-term vitality of regional economies and rural communities. The Oregon state legislature has funded the FFR Program since the state of Oregon’s fiscal year 2014 (FY14), and has expended a total of $10.6 million through the program from FY2014-2019.

Lakeview Collaborative Forest Landcapes Restoration (CFLR) Project Monitoring
USDA Forest Service

The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program was established in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 to promote the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes. The Lakeview Stewardship Group prioritized monitoring goals and created a monitoring plan that included five socioeconomic monitoring questions. EWP has been conducting the monitoring for these socioeconomic questions, from a baseline assessment of pre-CFLR years to biannual monitoring reports from FY 2012 through FY 2019, with the FY 2020/2021 report forthcoming. 

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.

Rural Youth Futures

As rural communities face changes in local economies, populations, and workforce needs, what does the next generation of residents and workers value and want? That question was the motivation for the Rural Youth Futures project. Researchers and extension agents from several universities joined forces with local non-profits to find out what middle and high schoolers think in two forest-dependent regions: Coos County in Oregon and Piscataquis/Northern Somerset Counties in Maine. 

Past Projects:

Tongass National Forest Social and Economic Monitoring
State of Alaska

The Tongass Advisory Committee recommended to develop a plan to track social and economic conditions in Southeast Alaska as part of the Tongass National Forest’s (NF) transition to predominantly young-growth timber harvest. The objectives for this project were to: 1) collect, analyze, and present a baseline analysis of social and economic conditions; and 2) develop and present a social and economic monitoring plan that can track social and economic change in affected communities around the Tongass NF and that reflects stakeholder interests. 

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. 

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.

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