Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Political Ideology and Environmental Concern as Predictors of Attitudes toward Forest Management Practices in the Pacific Northwest Public Deposited

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  • Few studies examine whether public attitudes toward forest management practices differ between public and private forests, with virtually no recent studies examining these differences in the Pacific Northwest, despite the coexistence of millions of acres of both public and private forest lands. Knowing whether public attitudes differ between public and private forests may inform plans for management of different forest ownerships. My research aims to inform understanding of public attitudes toward various forest management practices on three forest types (i.e., federal old-growth, federal regenerated, and private-industrial) in the Pacific Northwest. It also explores the role of two antecedent worldviews (i.e., level of environmental concern and political ideology) that may influence attitudes. Data were obtained from a quantitative, online panel survey. Participants (N = 515) were gathered through non-probability sampling and included residents from western Oregon, western Washington, and northern California. I selected these areas because millions of acres of both public and private forest lands exist within their boundaries, and because the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan affects their federal forests. Results indicate that neither environmental concern nor political ideology is a strong predictor of support for forest management practices in the Pacific Northwest. However, five of the nine bivariate correlations supported the hypothesized negative relationship between environmental concern and support for extractive forest management practices. Additionally, results indicate that worldview salience is not a significant moderator in the relationship between worldviews and attitudes; however, more research is needed to fully understand this relationship. This research supports the need for forest managers to identify how the wording of forest management practices resonates with people, and to be careful about using words (e.g., “thinning”) that they think are not “loaded,” but actually might have certain connotations for the audience.
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