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Understanding Public Support for Forest Management and Economic Development Options after a Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak

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Little is known about public attitudes toward management of forests after major disturbances. Mail surveys (n = 231) and in-depth telephone interviews (n = 36) with Grand County, Colorado, residents revealed that support for active forest management and economic development options was relatively high, concerns about impacts from the outbreak were mostly moderate, except those regarding wildfire and falling trees, which were high, and attitudes toward land managers and community leaders were generally negative. Concern, gender, and political orientation were significant predictors of support for management options, although different variables explained attitudes about different options. Interviews illustrated the complexity of attitudes toward management by revealing competing concerns related to the outbreak and forest management. Specifically, citizens generally supported postoutbreak management to reduce social and ecological impacts from the outbreak, but they were wary of the possibility of further negative social/ecological impacts resulting from further disturbance. This study reveals the importance of managers addressing people's concerns about both the disturbance and subsequent management actions when making postdisturbance management decisions.

Keywords: attitudes; forest disturbance; forest management support; pine beetle outbreak; trust

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2014

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
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