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Incorporating the Natural Landscape Within an Assessment of Community Attachment

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An ecosystem approach to managing public natural areas requires that land planners and managers thoroughly understand the stakeholders who live within these ecosystems and are emotionally connected to the lands. Building on previous research conducted on community attachment, place attachment, and sense of place, this article explores how local stakeholders in two areas of Florida identify with and account for the natural landscape within their sense of community. To better capture the physical-natural landscape element currently unaccounted for in community attachment research, researchers explored how stakeholders identified with their communities and examined their attitudes and behaviors regarding local public natural areas. Results show the physical-natural landscape is an important part of how stakeholders identify with their community. Stakeholders who frequently visit surrounding public natural areas and identify these areas as an important part of why they live in the area are likely to identify more with the physical-natural landscape of their community than the social-cultural elements of their community. Determining how stakeholders identify with their community (natural landscape or social elements), offers public land managers a better understanding of the role the areas they manage play in local stakeholders' daily lives, and how to best communicate with those stakeholders. FOR. SCI. 49(6):867–876.

Keywords: Ecosystem-based management; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; place attachment; public natural areas; sense of place

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Project Manager School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Box 110410 Gainesville, Florida, 32611-0001, Phone: 352-846-0902; Fax: 352-846-1277 2: Assistant Professor School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Box 110410 Gainesville, Florida, 32611-0001, Phone: 352-846-0860

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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