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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2014

  • Title: Forest conservation and land management along urban-to-rural gradients: What are the benefits and how is using them?
  • Primary Author: Anne Short Gianotti (Boston University)
  • Additional Authors: David Kittredge (University of Massachusetts - Amherst )
  • Abstract:

    The dynamics of forest cover and the ecosystem services forests provide are shaped by the land use and management decisions of thousands of individual landowners as well as the conservation actions of public agencies, towns, and environmental organizations. We are examining the social and ecological dynamics of forest conservation and private land management across an urban-to-rural gradient that extends from Boston to Central Massachusetts. Drawing from a mail survey of landowners in 33 towns; focus groups; semi-structured interviews with conservation professionals and volunteers; and spatially explicit data, we are describing patterns of land use, conservation activities, and land cover across the study area and examining variation in the perceived benefits and costs and use of conserved lands. We find some similarities regarding the perceived benefits of conserved land and notable variation in the perceived costs of conservation and the ways that respondents access the ecosystem services provided by forested ecosystems.

  • Research Category: Conservation and Management