OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Demonstrations and Projects: Forestry at the Urban Fringe

The following is an abstract from Kearstin Edward's M.S. thesis entitled "Forestry at the urban fringe: Issues, stakeholders and conflict potential in Oregon's Soap Creek Watershed."

Soap creek watershed

Increasing land fragmentation, environmental regulations and neighbors' concerns pose significant challenges to forest owners at the urban fringe, whose properties are physically caught between rural landscapes and continually expanding urban centers. Using Oregon's Soap Creek Watershed as a study site, we paired qualitative and quantitative methods to identify stakeholders, their opinions about contentious forest management issues and options for minimizing conflict at the urban fringe. Primary stakeholders included non-industrial private, corporate and public forest managers; residents and recreationists. The following are key findings from our research:

  1. Active forest management was seen as an important factor that protected the rural character and amenities of an area experiencing residential growth.
  2. Residents were the most likely to hold different categories of forest owners to different management standards, expecting more information from corporate owners than individual private owners and higher management standards on public lands.
  3. Land use zoning and forest practice regulations reduce conflict by delineating acceptable land uses and activities consistent with those uses.
  4. Clearly defined and consistent procedures for incorporating public knowledge and concerns into land management decisions are essential to reducing conflict over procedural and relational issues that often accompany resource management.
  5. Prior notification of management intentions in combination with frequent and consistent interactions with neighbors has the potential to build social capital and reduce active opposition of forest management practices.

To read more about this research, The Valley Library at Oregon State University has an online copy of Kearstin Edwards' thesis dissertation.

Mailboxes at Soap Creek