USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
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Portland, OR 97204

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US Forest Service


News Releases: 2008

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New book provides much-needed insight on today’s evolving forest communities

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Portland, OR: September 13, 2008



Ellen Donoghue, (503) 808-2018,

Media assistance:

Yasmeen Sands, (206) 732-7823, (PNW Research Station)

PORTLAND, Ore. September 13, 2008. As little as 25 years ago, the relationship between forests and the communities that surrounded them was relatively easy to characterize: there was a good chance the residents lived remotely and relied on timber extraction for most of their income. But now, with changes in the economy and federal policy and an increase in concern about forest health, it is nearly impossible to draw such sweeping generalizations about forest communities.

A new book edited by PNW Research Station’s Ellen Donoghue and Victoria Sturtevant of Southern Oregon University aims to help researchers, resource managers, and policymakers better understand today’s forest communities in the United States and their complex and evolving relationship with the land. Titled Forest Community Connections: Implications for Research, Management, and Governance, the book explores the responses of forest communities to change by examining a variety of contemporary management issues—including wildfire risk, forest restoration, amenity migration, and commercial harvest of nontimber forest products. The book also examines the aesthetic, economic, and cultural values community members attribute to forests and considers the role of communities within a range of forest governance structures.

“ Understanding the diverse and complex connections that forest communities have to forests is important because it is through these connections that the goals of sustainable forest management will be realized,” said Donoghue, a research social scientist. “Sustainable forest management cannot happen without consideration of people.”

According to Donoghue, she and Sturtevant wanted the volume to not only synthesize the state of the science relating to today's forest communities and their relationship with the land, but also to provide insight to those charged with managing forest resources, governing communities, and researching their connections.

University professors, graduate students, scientists, forest managers, community development specialists, and policymakers are among the book’s primary audiences.

“ The edited volume would be excellent reading for a graduate course aimed at understanding the social dimensions of forest management,” Donoghue said.

Forest Community Connections is published by Resources for the Future Press. To learn more, visit

The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about 500 employees.

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US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Monday,01August2016 at10:14:39CDT

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