Social, Ecological, and Economic Outcomes Associated with Stewardship Forestry in the Siuslaw Watershed Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cr56n178m

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  • In 1994, with the approval of the Northwest Forest Plan, the livelihood of individuals in the surrounding communities of the Siuslaw National Forest and Siuslaw Watershed were further impacted by already diminished traditional timber practices. In 2003, the United States Forest Service developed an innovative program, stewardship contracting, aimed at achieving land management and forest restoration goals while fulfilling local and rural community needs (United States Forest Service, 2009). However, 20 years after the Northwest Forest Plan and over 10 years after the implementation of stewardship contracting, there remains a need for assessing the social, ecological, and economic outcomes associated with the practice. This project used a case study approach involving semi–structured interviews of individuals involved with stewardship contracting in the study area. Evaluation of the outcomes indicates that stewardship contracting has to some degree contributed to social, economic, and ecological benefits for communities in the area. Stewardship contracting seems to have improved trust and communication between agencies, organizations, environmental groups, and individuals of the community. It has increased job availability in the area; however, availability has not rebounded to peak levels observed before the Northwest Forest Plan was implemented. One of the main findings relating to ecological outcomes is how little information is available. Together, these findings revealed that correlation does not equal causation, since traditional timber contracts also play an important role in the social, economic and ecological sustainability of these communities.
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