Public perceptions of the Colorado State Forest Service

Peterson, Courtney L., author
Vaske, Jerry, advisor
Bruyere, Brett, committee member
Timm, Katherine, committee member
Schultz, Courtney, committee member
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This Master's Thesis explored three main research questions pertaining to Colorado resident's perceptions of the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and forest management practices. Data were obtained from a public perceptions of the CSFS survey (n = 416), which provided the first step to understanding Colorado residents' attitudes toward the agency and different forest management practices. Results from the public perceptions of the CSFS survey indicated that (a) Colorado residents' aesthetic evaluations of the nine forest management practices had a larger impact on their approval of those practices than their familiarity with them, except for creating wildfire defensible space, windbreaks, and fuelbreaks; (b) social trust is the largest predictor of overall satisfaction with the CSFS; and (c) level of education, household income, ethnicity, familiarity with the CSFS and forest management practices, and total knowledge of the CSFS were related to Colorado residents' awareness of their proximity to the wildland-urban interface (WUI). The results from the public perceptions of the CSFS survey will help the agency focus its outreach efforts to more effectively communicate with Colorado residents about the valuable services the agency provides. Only with effective outreach and education will the CSFS be able to change Colorado residents' attitudes about forest management practices and work to achieve the stewardship of Colorado's diverse forest ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations.
2014 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.
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public perceptions
wildland-urban interface
Colorado State Forest Service
forest management
Associated Publications