Using fire in forest management sounds contradictory.Prescribed fire, however, is an important tool forforesters, and a recent article describes how decisionanalysis is used to decide when, where, and what toburn. In one example, a number of areas in the TahoeNational Forest in California had been logged and werebeing prepared for replanting. Preparation includedprescribed burning, and two possible treatments wereavailable: burning the slash as it lay on the ground, or“yarding of unmerchantable material”(YUM) prior toburning. The latter treatment involves using heavyequipment to pile the slash. YUM reduces the difficultyof controlling the burn but costs an additional $100 peracre. In deciding between the two treatments, twouncertainties were considered critical. The first washow the fire would behave under each scenario. Forexample, the fire could be fully successful, problemscould arise which could be controlled eventually, or thefire could escape, entailing considerable losses. Second, if problems developed, they could result in high, low,or medium costs.

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Question 1. What do you think the U.S. Forest Service’sobjectives should be in this decision?In the article, only one objective was considered,minimizing cost (including costs associated withan escaped fire and the damage it might do). Do you think this is a reasonable criterion for theForest Service to use? Why or why not?

Question 2. Develop an influence diagram and a decisiontree using PrecisionTree for this situation. Whatroles do the two diagrams play in helping tounderstand and communicate the structure ofthis decision?

1. Your Case Study should be 2 – 3 pages in length and written in APA style format.
2. Separate title and reference page (minimum of 2 references)
3. Double spaced with 12-point Times Roman font.


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