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TitleBuilding Sustainable Communities in Forested Regions
AbstractThis demonstration project provides a protocol for better understanding those factors that contribute to sustainable forest-based economic development in timber dependent counties in the Northeast. Such knowledge advances our ability to create economic development strategies that meet the needs of rural people while simultaneously enhancing environmental resources. It also encourages appropriate interventions to avoid and/or reduce conflict through an appropriate combination of regulations, incentives, and education programs. There were four objectives in this research effort: 1. To build a typology of forest-dependent communities in the Northeast; 2. Utilize the typology created to select a community that is broadly representative of forest-dependent communities in the region; 3. To assess the relationship between local (private forest landowners, public landowners, community residents, and local officials) attitudes toward, and perceptions of, forest resources and potential economic development strategies; and 4. To disseminate project findings to regional forest and community planners, forestry agencies, and other stakeholders in forest dependent communities. This multi-method study included key informant interviews, a mail survey, and a drop-off/pick-up survey method. The need to address a variety of dimensions of both community and individual level variables required this combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches and it allowed us to overcome the restrictions imposed by the limitations of any single research strategy. Moreover, our approach facilitated the identification of important local players in the community economic development process. Knowledge of these people's concerns, attitudes, and perceptions was essential for the design of the household survey.
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Luloff, A. E.
Penn State Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
Brennan, M. A.
Penn State Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
Bridger, J. C.
Penn State Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
Finley, J. C.
Penn State Ecosystem Science Management

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