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Individual Highlight

Public Trust and Conservation

Photo of Snapshot : Findings help improve Forest Service efforts to communicate ecosystem risks and to encourage actions that protect natural resources.Trust in the Forest Service is influential in public responses to agency initiatives to conserve natural resources. The influence extends to efforts to directly engage publics in conservation-related efforts. Findings highlight the importance of agency-public relationships impacting the capacity to care for forests and grasslands.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Winter, Patricia L.  
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 366


Continuing environmental and social change requires an understanding of factors that impact public involvement in conservation related actions. Managing the nation's forests and grasslands includes a reliance on publics as volunteers, willing participants in protection efforts while consuming ecosystem services, and aiding the management of forests through collaborative dialogue.

Through this synthesis of multiple studies the influential role of public trust in the Forest Service is revealed. Influences of trust are shown in believability and acceptability of agency messages designed to guide recreationist behavior; perceived effectiveness of agency actions; acceptability of management actions; and interest in collaborative and participative endeavors that engage publics.

Additional Resources

Trust mediates conservation-related behaviors(publication)

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • George T. Cvetkovich, Ph.D., Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA