Mokelumne Watershed Avoided Cost Analysis:
Why Sierra Fuel Treatments Make Economic Sense
Wildfires, and their associated costs, are increasing in the western United States. Fuel treatments can significantly modify fire behavior by reducing fire severity, size, and rate of spread, but few studies have taken a hard look at the costs and benefits of fuel treatments. Using the upper Mokelumne watershed as a representative case, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, and a diverse set of other stakeholders sought to answer the following question: Does it make economic sense to increase investment in proactive forest management to reduce the risk of large, damaging wildfires?