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Shifting Public Values for Forest Management: Making Sense of Wicked Problems

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Wicked problems typify many of the natural resource debates in the United States and certainly describe the management of forestlands in the Pacific Northwest. Wicked problems are interrelated ones of organized complexity that cannot be solved in isolation from one another, but also hinge on differing sociopolitical values that clash in the political arena. Forestry professionals frequently find themselves caught up in the dilemma of making decisions in this era of social change and much scrutiny. This paper examines what shifting social values mean for forest management and research by (1) providing a conceptual context for forest policy decisions, (2) examining relevant problems facing management and research institutions, and (3) characterizing the implication for public forest management given the nature of wicked problems. West. J. Appl. For. 14(1):28-34.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: 01 January 1999

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