Forest Fire in the American Southwest
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This website is animated by the vision that power realized with others is superior to power over others, that the public sphere is as consequential as our private lives, and that knowledge should be governed by an ethic of sharing.

Click here to solve the puzzleWe believe that lasting solutions for epidemic, unnatural catastrophic fire in the American Southwest can only be achieved through inclusive processes of public deliberation. Such conversations should be scientifically informed, ethically leavened, and economically realistic. The final test for policy decisions is a “win-win criterion” — outcomes that are good for human communities and the forests.

To those ends, our goal is to provide a comprehensive survey of relevant information for diverse users. While judgments of truth and justice are sometimes elusive, especially when political opinion is conflicted, we hope that visitors of all persuasions will find this site to be a resource that builds collective capacities for informed deliberation and public participation.

The causes of and solutions for the stand-destroying wildfires ravaging Southwestern forests are complicated — a puzzle, to reflect the website's graphical theme. We invite you to join with us in gathering the pieces offered here and elsewhere. Working together, we can find solutions to the puzzle.

We welcome and value your comments and suggestions. Contact us at

— Max Oelschlaeger, F. B. McAllister Chair

NAU's Program in Community, Culture and Environment Northern Arizona University