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Fostering Sustainable Operations in a Natural Resource Management Agency: Insights from the Field

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Abstract:

Sustainable operations (SO; operating in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable manner) is consistent with the environmental stewardship mission of natural resource management organizations. This study sought to examine SO practices in the daily work lives of US Forest Service employees, including those primarily stationed in the office and in the field. The purpose was to identify influences on these behaviors such that organizations can more effectively promote them. We surveyed a random sample of employees within a region and research station of the US Forest Service (n = 451) regarding SO behaviors, barriers, and facilitators to SO, and perspectives on SO. Consistent with the Proenvironmental Behavior Change Model (Burn, S.M. and P.L. Winters. 2008, A behavioral intervention tool for recreation managers, Park Sci. 31[1]:5‐15), social norms, attitudes, setting design, knowledge and information, and habit were all important influences on SO behaviors, with social norms, attitudes, and habits the strongest influences. Recommendations for promoting SO are provided.

Keywords: Proenvironmental Behavior Change Model; environmentally responsible actions; successful implementation; sustainable operations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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  • 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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