Down by the creek : understanding landowner perspectives on streamside health and management Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zp38wf65r

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  • Both policy makers and private landowners have come to recognize the importance of streamside areas in the maintenance of water quality and fish habitat. Because non-industrial landowners own 42% of the streamside area in the Coast Range, their management is a significant factor in the streamside health of Western Oregon. This study assesses landowner perceptions of streamside health and management in the Gales Creek basin, a mixed-use watershed west of Portland. Data were collected from a total of 21 forest, agricultural and urban landowners using qualitative research methods, in-depth interviews and field tours. Key findings from the research are: 1) Landowners' streamside management supports their more general goals for their land: forestry, agriculture, or residential. 2) Maintaining streamside health is not usually a primary objective of landowner management; rather it is a fortuitous, but unintended, side effect of their pursuit of other goals. 3) Landowners may assert autonomy over their land when their goals are threatened by natural resource policy and 4) Landowners possess specific knowledge of their streamside areas but are limited in their understanding of conditions at larger spatial and temporal scales. They believe that their knowledge should be incorporated into policy making. Some implications from these findings for the development of landscape scale policy are included.
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