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Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis in National Forests

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Abstract:

We examined the spatial distribution of crime incidents on USDA Forest Service lands using a geographic information system and several spatial analysis techniques. Our primary objective was to examine whether patterns existed in the spatial distribution of crime and to explore the relationship of patterns to other geographic features using the Forest Service and other databases. We analyzed a database containing over 45,000 spatially referenced crimes such as felonies, infractions, and misdemeanors. Other spatial data layers included transportation networks, administrative boundaries, hydrology, elevation, and digital orthophotographs. Results at a regional scale showed crime densities concentrated in forests adjacent to population centers and transportation corridors. Nearest neighbor, quartic kernel density estimation, and quadrat analyses identified crime patterning and hot spots. Our results suggest that managers can use these spatial techniques as decision support tools to better understand the relationship between natural resources and crime.

Keywords: GIS; geostatistics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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