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Managing Forest Disturbances and Community Responses: Lessons from the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

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Managing forest disturbances can be complicated by diverse human community responses. Interviews and quantitative analysis of mail surveys were used to assess risk perceptions and community actions in response to forest disturbance by spruce bark beetles. Despite high risk perception of immediate threats to personal safety and property, risk perceptions of broader threats to community and ecological well-being were found to be more likely to influence participation in community action. Results imply that increased dialogue between resource managers and local community residents contributes to broader risk assessment and prioritization of risk mitigation strategies. Identifying community risk perceptions, tapping into local capacities for action, and accepting controversy facilitate sound decisionmaking and give voice to local concerns regarding risk mitigation after forest disturbance.

Keywords: community action; community response; forest disturbance; natural resource management; risk perception; spruce bark beetles

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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