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Social Acceptability of Forestry Practices in the Pacific Northwest

The University of Oregon Institute for a Sustainable Environment has undertaken a variety of research projects aimed at enhancing the understanding of public perceptions of forestry on public lands in the Pacific Northwest. These projects are investigating forest policy, forest planning options and alternative timber harvesting options. The objective is to explore some of the characteristics of public forestry that may prove to be socially acceptable.

These projects are directed by Dr. Robert Ribe. They are supported mainly by the U.S. Forest Service with additional support from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. They are part of several large scale research programs undertaken by those agencies. These include the Demonstration for Ecosystem Management Options (DEMO) study, the Long Term Ecosystem Productivity (LTEP) Study, and the Young Stands and Diversity Study. The landscape research program of the USDA Forest Service North Central Research Station in Chicago, and the Central Cascades Adaptive Management Area in Oregon have also contributed.

Report of Public Opinion Survey About National Forest Issues

Below, you can download a report of the results of a survey of public opinions about forestry in western Washington and Oregon. This survey addresses issues affecting the U.S. Forest Service in its management of national forests under the Northwest Forest Plan. It reports survey results regarding forest fire management, old growth harvests, clearcuts, forest planning processes, multiple use, outdoor recreation, partial cuts or forest thinning, wildlife habitat, and forestry priorities and values. The survey was conducted in late 2001 and early 2002.

Survey Results (pdf) – MISSING

Below is a report of the results of how different forest thinnings and harvests change the scenic beauty of forests as percieved by the public.

Comparison Report (pdf ) – MISSING

Other Research Results

Other reports from this research program have been published elsewhere and are listed below:

Ribe, R. 2005 Perceptions of Green-tree Retention Timber Harvests in Vista Views: How Much do Cut Level, Pattern and Design Matter? Landscape and Urban Planning. 73(8):277-293.

Ribe, R. 2005 Comparing Changes in Scenic Beauty Produced by Green-Tree Retention Harvests, Thinnings and Clearcuts: Evidence From Three Pacific Northwest Experiments. In: Maguire and others (eds.) Balancing Ecosystem Values: Innovative Experiments for Sustainable Forestry. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report PNW-635. Portland, OR. 137-146.

Ribe, R. and M. Matteson. 2002. Views of Old Forestry and New Among Reference Groups in the Pacific Northwest. Western Journal of Applied Forestry, 17(4): 1-10.

Ribe, R., E.T. Armstrong and P.H. Gobster. 2002. Scenic Vistas and the Changing Policy Landscape: Visualizing and Testing the Role of Visual Resources in Ecosystem Management. Landscape Journal, 12(1): 42-66.

Ribe, R. 2002. Is Scenic Beauty a Proxy for Acceptable Management? The Influence of Environmental Attitudes on Landscape Perceptions. Environment and Behavior, 34(6): 757-780.

Ribe, R. 1999. Regeneration Harvests Versus Clearcuts: Public Views of the Acceptability and Aesthetics of Northwest Forest Plan Harvests. Northwest Science 73(special issue): 102-117.

Ribe, R. 1994. Scenic Beauty Perceptions Along the ROS. Journal of Environmental Management 42(4): 199-221.