Social and political dimensions of forest health Public Deposited

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  • The concept of forest health has recently emerged as a focal concept for federal forest policy. At the same time, social and political conflicts over the characteristics of a healthy forest, and over the causes of poor forest health, underscore the lack of a shared understanding of what the term means. Here, social and political science approaches were used to investigate the social and political dimensions of the forest health concept. Using data from a survey of 482 residents of the Pacific Northwest, it was found that individuals' economic or environmental orientations, self-rated on a seven point scale, related strongly to their opinions regarding appropriate forest health management treatments as well as their perceived threats to forest health. While strong disagreements emerged over appropriate treatments for a forest described as "healthy," there was a general agreement that a forest described as "overstocked" should not be left to take its own course, but should be selectively thinned to improve its health. A review of all forest health-related legislation introduced into Congress between 1989 and the passage of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (H.R. 1904) on November 21, 2003 revealed five distinct, but not mutually exclusive, policy packages regarding forest health. The most common policy package during this period emphasized the protection of property from fire damage, although this approach was relatively uncommon in the early 1990's when other concerns dominated the forest health debate. Together these findings illustrate the range of forest health understandings in the social and political spheres and point to areas where general agreement exists, suggesting possibilities for future accord on forest health management.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Patricia Black (patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-08-07T17:28:46Z No. of bitstreams: 1 AbramsJesse2004.pdf: 436995 bytes, checksum: 893c65336029e2452636b41a15dc2be3 (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-08-07T20:46:25Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 AbramsJesse2004.pdf: 436995 bytes, checksum: 893c65336029e2452636b41a15dc2be3 (MD5)

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