Canadian Forest Service Publications

Locally defined indicators of community sustainability in the Prince Albert Model Forest. 2001. Parkins, J.R.; Varghese, J.; Stedman, R.C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northen Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta and Prince Albert Model Forest, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Information Report NOR-X-379.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18553

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record


Forest-based communities can be characterized in terms of their dependence on subsistence practices, park-based tourism, or traditional logging practices. In monitoring the sustainability of these communities, researchers have struggled to develop relevant indicators responsive to their unique social, economic, and environmental conditions. In this study we describe a method used to identify appropriate indicators of sustainability in three north-central Saskatchewan forest-based communities. To address the uniqueness of each locale, we employed a quality-of-life research framework to identify appropriate social indicators and then subjected these indicators to an evaluation framework. The latter framework provided criteria for ranking the indicators according to their general effectiveness and their relevance to important dimensions of sustainability. The findings emphasize the need for caution in asserting the utility of "one-size-fits-all" approaches to community sustainability. These communities defined progress toward sustainability, in terms of quality-of-life indicators, quite differently and therefore each requires a unique set of indicators to measure progress.