Going beyond the biophysical when mapping national forestsAuthor(s): Geoff Koch; Lee Cerveny
Source: Science Findings 204. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (6.0 MB)
Resource managers have long mapped biophysical forest data. Often lacking, however, is relevant social science data for understanding the variety of human needs a given landscape fulfills.
For nearly a decade, Lee Cerveny has been exploring how to provide this data on public lands around the Pacific Northwest. Cerveny is a research social scientist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station. In collaboration with several colleagues, she is using in-person mapping exercises and workshops with graphic information system software to capture social values, ecosystem benefits, and resource interactions related to some of the nation’s most visited forests, including the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The resulting maps depict both the diversity and intensity of human-resource interactions. These participatory approaches also create opportunities to build trust and dialogue between different forest stakeholders.
Cerveny found that multiple methods of data gathering were necessary. Because demographic groups respond differently depending on the type of outreach (in-person or online), a single method of data collection can leave some key interests underrepresented. Also, collecting data various ways makes it possible and often valuable to desegregate survey responses to see which groups may not have responded.
Combining a landscape’s biophysical data with points of human interaction and value can help forest planners develop sustainable strategies for managing road networks.
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CitationKoch, Geoff; Cerveny, Lee. 2018. Going beyond the biophysical when mapping national forests. Science Findings 204. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
KeywordsHuman ecology mapping, travel management, recreation.
- Social sciences in Puget Sound recovery
- Exploring connections between trees and human health
- Making sense of human ecology mapping: an overview of approaches to integrating socio-spatial data into environmental planning
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