Publication Details

Landowner Acceptability of Silvicultural Treatments to Restore an Open Forest Landscape

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Arnberger, Arne ; Gobster, Paul H.; Schneider, Ingrid E.; Floress, Kristin M.; Haines, Anna L.; Eder, Renate

Year Published

2022

Publication

Forests

Abstract

This study examined the acceptability of different silvicultural treatments to restore pine barrens, an open, fire-dependent forest landscape type globally imperiled across the northern Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. In an online survey, we asked family-forest owners (N = 466) in NortheasternWisconsin about the acceptability of pine barrens restoration treatments through ratings of both verbal descriptions and visual scenarios. An informational statement about pine barrens restoration purposes and goals preceded ratings for half the sample. Across the entire sample, acceptability ratings for eleven verbally-described treatments generally declined as treatments became more intensive, creating greater openness on the landscape. Information recipients found two groups of treatments identified by factor analysis (selective openings, fire) more acceptable than non-recipients, and cluster analysis identified four respondent subgroups, each with varying levels of acceptability. The respondents also rated the acceptability of visual scenarios, with treatment attribute combinations portraying a range of likely restoration alternatives. While we generally found correspondence between verbal and visual acceptability ratings across the entire sample, the groups distinguished by their verbal acceptability ratings did not substantially differ in how they rated the acceptability of the visual scenarios. Implications are discussed for designing and communicating the purpose and value of restoration treatments to stakeholder groups.

Keywords

open forest landscapes; ecological restoration; restoration treatments; acceptability; verbal vs. visual methods; information effects; cluster analysis; logit model; landowner heterogeneity

Citation

Arnberger, Arne; Gobster, Paul H.; Schneider, Ingrid E.; Floress, Kristin M.; Haines, Anna L.; Eder, Renate. 2022. Landowner Acceptability of Silvicultural Treatments to Restore an Open Forest Landscape. Forests. 13(5): 770. 24 p. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050770.

Last updated on: May 30, 2022