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The Importance of Framing for Communicating Risk and Managing Forest Health

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Despite the importance of effective communication about forest and fuel management, little is known about how best to frame information to facilitate public understanding and increase support. The results presented here indicate that framing a fuel management plan as necessary to restore “lost” forest health (as opposed to maintaining or improving forest health) will increase the willingness of individuals to support options that pose some likelihood of failure (i.e., risk). Strategic framing of communication for public audiences is necessary because of the common biases in judgment that can result from an inadvertently chosen message frame. Focusing on the restoration of losses is an effective frame for communication if the goal is to increase tolerance for the risks inherent in forest and fuel management.

Keywords: fuel management; loss aversion; restoration; risk communication

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-09-01

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

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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