Authors: Stephen Crook*, San Diego State University, Arielle Levine, San Diego State University, Kathleen Farley, San Diego State University, David Lopez-Carr, University of California - Santa Barbara
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Applied Geography, Qualitative Methods
Keywords: ecosystem services, participatory mapping, forest management, US National Forests
Session Type: Poster
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Over the past decade, the ecosystem service concept has become a guiding principle in land use decision making for many administrative bodies, including the U.S. Forest Service. The ability of the concept to translate into improved management outcomes has been criticized in the literature due to the lack of attention paid to the cultural values related to ecosystem services and due to poor inclusion of the variety of stakeholders who use, value, and benefit from ecosystem services. This research project focuses on investigating how the identification and mapping of ecosystem services using participatory methods can be used to effectively and equitably inform the shift toward ecosystem-service-based management in the US National Forest context. Twenty three semi-structured interviews and mapping exercises were conducted with a wide variety of stakeholders of Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington to better understand which ecosystem services are recognized by different groups, which are deemed most important, and where different ecosystem services are used and valued on National Forest lands. Results indicate that most participants perceived cultural (recreation, aesthetics, sense of place, intrinsic, etc) and provisioning ecosystem services (timber, forest products such as mushrooms, huckleberries, and ornamental plants) as most important. Participants' ability and willingness to put different ecosystem services on a map varied greatly. Overall, aggregation of participants' maps revealed clear hotspots of ecosystem service use and value.