Landowner Perceptions of Habitat Protection Policy and Process in Oregon
Nonindustrial private forestland (NIPF) owners in the United States are subject to state and federal regulations designed to protect fish and wildlife habitat, wetlands, and other sensitive resources. Oregon state regulations restrict forest operations on private lands that might potentially conflict with specified resource sites, including nest sites of certain bird species and wetland sites. Research undertaken in 2004 examined the extent and distribution of sensitive resource site actions and examined the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of affected NIPF owners regarding specified resource site policies and procedures. Methods included statistical analysis of state databases and semistructured interviews with key informants. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to elicit central themes. Our findings suggest that NIPF owners' responses to sensitive resource protection reflect not only economic concerns but also landowner management objectives and values and their perceptions of policy implementation. Themes related to power and control, perceptions of habitat protection, policy implementation, and trust and credibility are identified as driving informant views of resource protection policy.
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