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Harvesting Where the People Are: Aesthetic Preferences for Logging-in-Progress

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As forested areas become more populated, the aesthetic values associated with logging-in-progress are increasingly driving public reaction to and concern about timber harvesting. Using a video-based survey, this research assessed the public's visual and aural preferences for five ground-based timber harvest yarding methods—a forwarder, rubber-tired cable skidder, bulldozer, farm tractor, and workhorse—based on a battery of attributes and situations. In addition, this study investigated the relationships between several possible explanatory variables—respondents' gender, knowledge of timber harvesting, and place of residence—and their preferences for the logging methods studied. Survey respondents preferred the horse and farm tractor methods for their visual, aural, and forest disturbance effects, whereas the forwarder method ranked highest for efficiency. The horse and tractor methods also were preferred for logging in residential areas. In several cases, survey respondents' gender and knowledge of timber harvesting were associated with their preferences for the logging methods studied.

Keywords: aesthetics; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; logging-in-progress; natural resource management; natural resources; public preferences

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Orange County Forester Virginia Department of Forestry, PO Box 286, Orange VA 22960, Email: 2: Professeur Titulaire Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt, Faculté de foresterie et de géomatique, Pavillon Abitibi-Price Université Laval Bureau 2122A Québec Canada G1K 7P4, Email:

Publication date: December 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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