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.”
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.
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
Forest Community Connections is published by Resources for
the Future Press. To learn more, visit http://www.rff.org/RFF_Press.
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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