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Title: Public acceptance of disturbance-based forest management: factors influencing support

Author: Olsen, Christine S.; Mallon, Angela L.; Shindler, Bruce A.;

Date: 2012

Source: ISRN Forestry. Article 594067. 10 p. doi:10.5402/2012/594067

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Growing emphasis on ecosystem and landscape-level forest management across North America has spurred an examination of alternative management strategies which focus on emulating dynamic natural disturbance processes, particularly those associated with forest fire regimes. This topic is the cornerstone of research in the Blue River Landscape Study (BRLS) on the Willamette National Forest in the McKenzie River watershed of western Oregon. As scientists and managers work to unravel the ecological and economic implications of disturbance-based forest management, they must also consider public acceptance for such an approach. In this study, citizen opinions from the local attentive public in McKenzie River watershed communities are examined. Results suggest the attentive public has moderate to low levels of knowledge about landscape-level disturbance processes and terms. Further, public confidence in agencies and the information they provide appears to be low, though respondents indicated a somewhat higher level of trust for local agency personnel than agencies as institutions. Overall, respondents display cautious support of disturbance-based management (DBM), but many are still undecided. Findings also demonstrate support may be improved through transparent and inclusive decision-making processes that demonstrate the use of sound science in project planning, frank disclosure of risks and uncertainties, and clear management objectives.

Keywords: public acceptability, social science, disturbance-based management, forest management

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Olsen, Christine S.; Mallon, Angela L.; Shindler, Bruce A. 2012. Public acceptance of disturbance-based forest management: factors influencing support. ISRN Forestry. Article 594067. 10 p. doi:10.5402/2012/594067.


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