Building social capital through community-agency collaboration : a survey of residents in northeast Washington Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/41687m35z

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  • Over the past half century, the USDA Forest Service has increasingly faced diverse and often competing demands for forest resources, ranging from recreation, to ecosystem services, and timber supply. Building positive community-agency relationships has become increasingly important. Such relationships can improve community support for forest planning and management activities, ultimately making the agency more efficient and effective, while also providing economic and social benefit to local communities. The development of social capital may play an important role in promoting positive agency-community relationships. Broadly defined, the term refers to the social networks between individuals and groups that create a willingness and ability to act collectively toward a common goal. This study focuses on the impact that a partnership between the Colville National Forest and Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition has had on rural Northeast Washington communities. Overall, our study suggests the partnership has positively impacted networks among community members and networks between the community and the Forest Service. However, there is room for improvement. Many study participants were not familiar with important details about the Coalition's membership and objectives, or how its work may impact them or their community. Targeted outreach efforts will likely lead to greater support for the partnership. Such efforts could also strengthen networks among community members and community-agency networks as individuals learn how the partnership can benefit them and issues they care about.
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