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Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Masters Field Project

Department or Program Affiliation

Environmental Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Laninga, Tammi

Second Advisor

Medler, Michael J.


Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) offer benefits for communities effected by wildfire risk and ignitions. CWPP’s serve several functions; they develop interlocal agreements between agencies that provide wildfire response and management, they develop hazard mitigation and wildfire education programs, and they define areas as wildland urban interface (WUI). The CWPP drafting process can impact the resources available to a wildfire risk community. However, despite the impact to communities effected by wildfire, CWPP planning is considered a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) allowing CWPP’s to be developed without public review. Given that community plans with public participation have increased adaptive capacity and resiliency, excluding the public from the planning process may result in plans that are less adaptive and resilient. To understand how public participation can be included into the CWPP drafting process, I used public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) to examine if mapping landscape values could be used as a tool to glean publicly held values without triggering the NEPA public review process. The research project examined landscape values attached to fire management in the Entiat River watershed in north central Washington state and used a kernel density analysis to examine hotspots where landscape values overlapped. The results showed that PPGIS could be used in the CWPP drafting process to target program outreach to areas that contained hotspots as well as a tool to define areas perceived as WUI by members of the community. The findings indicate that using PPGIS in the CWPP drafting process could improve plans and increase collaboration between planners and the public. While the research shows that PPGIS can be used as a tool to incorporate in the CWPP drafting process, it does not examine how the survey should be implemented, or how different analysis impact the distribution of mapped values.




GIS, Landscape Values, PPGIS, Wildfire, Community Planning, NEPA, CWPP


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

United States--National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

Subject – LCSH

Fire management--Washington (State)--Entiat River Watershed--Planning; Wildfires--Washington (State)--Entiat River Watershed--Prevention and control--Planning; Wildfires--Washington (State)--Entiat River Watershed--Prevention--Planning; Wildland-urban interface--Washington (State)--Entiat River Watershed; Watershed management--Washington (State)--Entiat River Watershed; Geographic information systems--Washington (State)--Entiat River Watershed--Citizen participation; Entiat River Watershed (Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Entiat River Watershed (Wash.)




masters theses




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