The aim of this work is to study Lithuanian stakeholders’ perceptions of fire impacts in protected areas. For this study, the stakeholders consisted of foresters, ecologists and farmers. A clear understanding of the opinions of stakeholders about fire effects on environmental, social and economic aspects of Lithuanian protected areas will allow an assessment of the stakeholders’ reaction to fire policy, including government measures towards fire prevention, suppression and application of prescribed fire to landscape management. The results showed that stakeholders in general think that fire is not a threat to Lithuania and to the ecological processes in the protected areas. However, they agree that fires have negative impacts on soil properties and fertility but are not to an irremediable or irrecoverable extent. Stakeholders disagree that fire has positive consequences for agricultural and cattle activities but agreed that vegetation recovers quickly. They do not see fire as a social and economic problem, do not agree that prescribed fire could be used to landscape management, and believe that mechanical thinning is a better management tool than prescribed fire. Stakeholders agree that fire does not have negative impacts on the biodiversity. These opinions depended on the age group of the respondent but especially on the respondent’s professional occupation.
- Protected areas