Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Social Acceptance of Landscape-Scale Restoration : Treatment of Riparian Areas in the Lower Joseph Creek Watershed, Oregon. Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • Managing riparian areas in the dry forests of the intermountain west for diverse public values can create conflict, potentially limiting social acceptance in landscape-scale restoration projects. This thesis examined accelerated landscape-scale restoration as part of a broader shift toward ecosystem management on national forestland, which incorporates social values into forest management. Specifically, this research explores (1) how perceived outcomes of thinning, low severity fire, and high severity fire influenced stakeholder acceptance of active management within riparian areas of the Lower Joseph Creek Restoration Project (LJCRP), and (2) the tradeoffs associated with managing multiple and diverse riparian values across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. Data were obtained through one critical case in Wallowa County, Oregon, through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders who had participated in the development of the LJCRP. We found that the social acceptance of the LJCRP was limited by the outcomes that stakeholders perceived from active management in riparian areas. Multiple factors influenced the outcomes stakeholders perceived, including: the spatial and temporal scales that stakeholders focused on when evaluating management outcomes, as well as differences between stakeholders’ perceptions of the historical role of high severity fire in riparian areas, the relative influence of fuels and weather on fire behavior, and the trustworthiness of the Forest Service. We found that despite the broad range of perceived outcomes across the group, stakeholders with similar management preferences perceived similar outcomes from thinning, low severity fire, and high severity fire. Stakeholders often described tradeoffs between achieving broad management objectives and project-level implementation of the treatments that support them. Tradeoffs were evidenced by the tension that stakeholders described between pursuing future benefits at the stand and landscape scale and maintaining the localized, immediate conditions at the stand scale. In this case, a lack of organizational trust limited the social acceptability of active management in riparian areas. In the LJCRP, implementation of treatments, public participation, and lack of coordination with state and federal regulatory agencies were factors that limited the social acceptance of active management in riparian areas.
Resource Type
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Committee Member
Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
  • The office of Dean Thomas Maness
Peer Reviewed



This work has no parents.

In Collection: