Understanding local stakeholder perceptions and attitude of Prescribed Burning for improved support of Urban Pine Rockland restoration in Miami Dade County (MDC)

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Brenna R. Kays, Elizabeth P. Anderson

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Prescribed burning is a crucial component of Pine Rockland (PR) habitat maintenance and restoration in South Florida. With less than 2% of original PR land cover remaining and a significant portion of PR stands within the urban matrix of Miami Dade county, understanding public perceptions of prescribed burning in urban areas is critical to ensure local stakeholder support for such practices. While there has been some research into local perceptions of prescribed fires in the United States, there is limited information about the perceptions that urban residents have about prescribed fire in South Florida. With MDC being a multicultural, majority-minority county, this presents a unique opportunity to understand resident perceptions of restoration practices in order to carry out culturally informed restoration efforts. I have developed a survey instrument to gauge local perceptions and attitudes held by Miami Dade County residents about prescribed burning. Through the use of this instrument, I aim to answer two questions: 1) what are local residents’ perceptions and attitudes towards prescribed fire as a restoration practice in urban areas of MDC? 2) do residents with more knowledge about the benefits of prescribed burning support for prescribed burning practices more than residents with less knowledge about prescribed burning benefits? Insights obtained through the collection of this data can be used to inform education and outreach campaigns to be conducted prior to prescribed burns to garner public support.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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