Local Perceptions of Social-Ecological Change on the McKenzie: Implications for Resilience Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/vh53wx47s

2011

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  • Local Perceptions of Social-Ecological Change on the McKenzie: Implications for Resilience This study sought to catalog local knowledge of long-term residents of the McKenzie River Valley as it pertains to landscape and community change and provide a general assessment of factors affecting the local social-ecological system’s resilience. Residents interviewed indicated that dramatic changes driven by market competition, timber industry changes, increased regulation, and rural restructuring have occurred in both the landscape and community. The changes that have transpired as a result have redefined the relationship between the community and the landscape, moving away from local dependence on timber harvests to a relationship oriented around tourism and other ecosystem services. In doing so the community has transitioned from one with a logging community identity to one that has begrudgingly transitioned to a retirement and vacation community. Resilience thinking, a framework for assessing a social-ecological system’s ability to adapt and confront forces of change, indicates that the social-ecological system in the MRV is still in the midst of redefining the systems thresholds and key feedbacks. As a result of low institutional capacity the system is vulnerable to continued drivers of change from outside the local system. Using a modified version of Ostrom’s (2009) framework for the analysis of social-ecological systems, this study recommends policymakers and policy entrepreneurs take three key steps to facilitate enhanced system resilience: 1) ensure transboundary management strategies are put in place that transcend landownership classifications; 2) tighten system feedbacks to include more local influence; 3) develop local multilayered institutions organized vertically and horizontally.
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