Public knowledge, preferences and involvement in adaptive ecosystem management Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qf85nd22x

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  • Few studies analyze the relationship between ecological knowledge and public preferences for natural resource management options. The Central Cascades Adaptive Management Area (CCAMA) and McKenzie watershed of western Oregon provides an opportunity to examine the relationship. This research project employs a mixed model approach to explore public knowledge of forest practices and preferred methods for information exchange. Semi-structured interviews, a mail survey of the general and attentive public, focus groups and participant observation provide data used to examine the relationship between public ecological knowledge, preferences for information exchange, and desired levels of public involvement. A random sample of residents taken from telephone directories formed the general public. The attentive public sample was drawn from a pre-existing USFS list of stakeholders who requested to stay abreast of natural resource issues in the watershed. These groups were then divided by zip code to analyze potential differences between urban and rural residents. The survey collected data on the public's familiarity with a variety of terms, organizations and projects in the watershed, knowledge of forest processes and general ecology, preferred forms of information transfer, the characteristics of useful information sources, general preferences for public involvement in natural resource management decisions and opinions about a specific USFS project, the Blue River Landscape Study (BRLS). The mixed model approach integrated qualitative and quantitative research techniques through all stages of research. Key findings include significant differences between the attentive and general publics, however not between the urban and rural residents as expected. The attentive public not only rated their environmental knowledge and familiarity with each project, organization and term higher than the general public, the former scored higher on a quiz of ecological and forest management knowledge. In addition to "attentive," gender (male) and level of education were the only characteristics correlated with increased scientific knowledge. Despite differences in scientific knowledge scores, all population groups (attentive, general, urban, and rural) similarly ranked information sources. Personal experience, relatives, friends and neighbors and the USFS received the highest usefulness rating, which was mirrored by trustworthiness scores. Though the attentive public gave higher scores to university scientists than the general public, both favored interactive methods of information transfer such as field trips, personal conversations and small presentations. This preference for interactive methods of information transfer echoes the finding that all population groups desire more involvement in natural resource decision making.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-02-05T15:22:27Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Williams_Robert_Lawrence_2001.pdf: 1183247 bytes, checksum: 989cb69d3dfc213c9b7823701d98812e (MD5)

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