Stakeholder perceptions of ecosystem service values in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Authors: Stephen Crook*, San Diego State University, Kathleen Farley, San Diego State University, David Lopez-Carr, University of California - Santa Barbara
Topics: Environment
Keywords: ecosystem services, public lands management, conservation, environmental values
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom D, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The ecosystem services concept offers a lens with which to view tradeoffs among land management decisions. The number and type of services considered in assessments of these tradeoffs are often limited, despite calls in the ecosystem services literature to better include public participation and cultural values toward ecosystem services at the early stages of the assessment process. Here, we investigate the applicability of the ecosystem services concept to US National Forest (NF) management by exploring stakeholders’ perceptions of the ways in which they use and value NF benefits through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders of Gifford Pinchot National Forest (Washington). In seventeen stakeholder interviews, participants were asked about the benefits, goods, products, services, and values they and others derive from the forest; which of these they perceive as most important to themselves and for society; and whether they have perceived changes over time. Participants identified 39 uses, benefits, and values related to the forest, most frequently identifying recreation (both non-motorized and hunting), livelihoods, non-timber forest product provision, water provision, timber provision, education, climate regulation, and air quality/filtration. Perceptions of changes in the ability of the forest to provide these benefits over the last 25 years were largely negative. Results from this research can help the Forest Service better understand those ecosystem services valued by stakeholders for inclusion into management planning and decision-making.

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