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The Engines of Change in Rsource-Dependent Communities

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Social scientists have long attempted to understand change in natural resource-dependent communities. This article examines the relationship of three alternative “engines of change”: local resource production, local historical events, and broad societal trends. Regression models were used to examine the relationships between four dimensions of community social change (size, structure, cohesion, and anomie) and the alternative “engines of change” in seven resource-dependent communities in the Pacific Northwest for over 50 year time periods. Included in the group were four timber towns, as well as communities dependent upon fishing, tourism, and mining. The data suggest that broad societal trends followed by local historical events explain the largest proportion of the variation in community social change dimensions of size and structure. Local resource production has modest explanatory power when combined with the other “engines of change.” FOR. SCI. 46(3): 344–355.

Keywords: Community social change; Pacific Northwest; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; regression models; resource production

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844-1133, Phone: (208) 885-7311; Fax: (208) 885-6226 2: National Park Service, Department of Forest Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844-1133, Phone: (208) 885-7129; Fax: 208-885-6226 3: Faculty of Forestry, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, One Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY, 13210-2778,

Publication date: August 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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