Co-management during crisis: insights from jurisdictionally complex wildfires
Nowell, B., Steelman, T., Velez, A.-lise, & Albrecht, K. (2022, May 20). INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE.
There is a general agreement within the wildfire community that exclusively top–down approaches to policy making and management are limited and that we need to build governance capacity to cooperatively manage across jurisdictional boundaries. Accordingly, the concept of co-management has grown in popularity as a theoretical lens through which to understand cooperative multi-jurisdictional response to wildland fires. However, definitional ambiguity has led to on-going debates about what co-management is. Further, there is limited understanding about the nature of co-management during crisis events. This had led to scholars posing the question: what is co-management in the context of jurisdictionally complex wildfire? In this paper, we seek to address this question based on interviews with leaders engaged in the management of jurisdictionally complex wildfire incidents. We propose a multi-level framework for conceiving co-management as strategic efforts of individual actors to cooperatively manage perceived interdependencies with others through one or more formal or informal institutional arrangements. We then demonstrate the value of the proposed framework in its ability to organise a series of questions for diagnosing co-management situations within the context of jurisdictionally complex wildfires.