Forest Management Policy and Community Well-Being in the Pacific Northwest

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Abstract:

This study uses a multiscale, multimethods approach to examine the effects of declining timber harvests on the well-being of forest communities in the Pacific Northwest as a result of the Northwest Forest Plan (the Plan). We found that the effects of declining timber harvests were variable and depended on the importance of the timber sector in a community in the late 1980s, the extent to which federal timber supported that sector, and the degree to which local residents depended on US Forest Service jobs. In addition, we found that other goods, services, and opportunities associated with federal lands declined under the Plan, further affecting communities by curtailing private and public sector business and employment opportunities. Community effects also depended on the unique circumstances of a community. A socioeconomic well-being index we developed indicated that overall, communities within five miles of a federal forest were not doing as well as communities farther away.

Keywords: Bureau of Land Management; Northwest Forest Plan; Pacific Northwest; US Forest Service; forest communities; socioeconomic monitoring

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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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