Category: Forests

Resource Category Topic Type
Drier Conditions, More Wildfire, and Heightened Concerns About Forest Management in Eastern Oregon
In eastern Oregon, a semi-arid region dominated by dry forest, warming over the past few decades is affecting the productivity and health of forests that are central to the region’s landscapes, economy, and culture. A warmer and drier climate will likely bring more frequent and severe wildfires and increase stress on water availability. The impacts will be significant both for natural resources and human welfare, especially in the Blue Mountains and adjacent communities. Public opinion surveys in this region show that recognition of human-caused climate change is low, but there is a high level of agreement that forest conditions are worsening and that wildfires pose a major risk. Support is high for active forest management (forest thinning, surface fuel reduction) and restoration to reduce the likelihood of dangerous, high-severity wildfires.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Climate Change, Environment, Forests Publication
Environmental, Economic, and Social Changes in Rural America Visible in Survey Data and Satellite Images
This brief focuses on the changing landscapes of different types of rural America where social, economic, and ecological changes are occurring over large areas: the Northern Forest, Central Appalachia, and the Pacific Northwest. These three study sites embody varying historical reliance on land and natural resources and represent very different socioeconomic dynamics. Their common and unique challenges are explored, along with the far-reaching implications of land-cover change in their areas. Data used includes both telephone surveys and satellite imagery to illustrate the unique changes seen in rural America in recent years. (Please note that it is best to print this brief in color.)
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Forests, Rural Publication
Forest Management and Wildfire Risk in Inland Northwest
This brief reports the results of a mail survey of forest landowners in northeastern Oregon conducted in the fall of 2012 by the Communities and Forests in Oregon (CAFOR) Project at the University of Colorado and the University of New Hampshire in cooperation with Oregon State University College of Forestry Extension.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Forests Publication
Forest Views
Residents of northeast Oregon were surveyed by telephone in an effort to assess individual perceptions of forests and natural resource management. Results show that residents are generally well informed about declining forest health, and they identify active forest management as a high priority. Just over half of residents support increasing public land use fees to pay for forest restoration activities, while only a minority support raising local taxes. Thus, creative policy solutions are likely needed to address the forest restoration funding gap. Residents were nearly unanimous in their belief that natural resources can be preserved for future generations and at the same time used to create jobs. Compared to a similar survey in 2011, a larger proportion of participants in 2014 prioritize renewable energy development over drilling and exploration for oil, an increasing percentage believe that environmental rules limiting development have been good for their communities, and fewer support the elimination of wolves. These shifts in public opinion appear to be due to changes in perceptions among longtime residents, rather than demographic changes, and suggest that communities may be more receptive to regulations and programs that address ecological restoration and stewardship goals, as well as climate change impacts.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Forests, Public Opinion Publication
Forest Views: Northeast Oregon Survey Looks at Community and Environment
This brief reports on a survey conducted in fall 2011 as one component of the ongoing Communities and Forests in Oregon (CAFOR) project. The CAFOR project focuses on the people and landscapes of three counties in northeast Oregon (Baker, Union, and Wallowa), where landscapes and communities are changing in interconnected ways.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Community, Environment, Forests Publication
Forests in Flux
The New England states and New York are more than 50 percent forested, a rate well above the national average. Economies in this heavily forested region have historically relied on forest-based industries, and human population has clustered along coastal regions and major waterways, though recent trends suggest widespread in-migration to amenity-rich rural areas. Over the last decade, all states in this region have experienced notable declines in forest cover. In urban and suburban areas like southern New Hampshire, this loss of forest cover is likely related to increased demand for housing and services. It is also likely to be a permanent transition, since developed land rarely reverts to forest cover. Much of the forest cover loss in rural northern New England is due to commercial timber harvesting and is likely temporary, but in other portions of northern New England forest cover has declined consistently since 2001, and it is unclear whether this shift is the result of development or forest harvesting. These two types of forest cover change can have drastically different effects on the services local residents derive from forests. Because more developed regions have already lost much of their forest cover, a sustained loss of the remaining forestland has serious implications for vital ecosystem services like drinking water filtration, storm abatement, and air purification. This brief contributes to a better understanding of the linkages between demographic and forest cover change so as to inform policy efforts aimed at maintaining existing forested areas in and around sprawling urban centers.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Environment, Forests, New England Publication