Canadian Forest Service Publications

Stakeholder considerations for recreation and forest management in the Sunpine Forest Products Management Agreement Area of Alberta. 2004. Watson, D.O.; McFarlane, B.L. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-400. 28 p.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25189

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

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

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This study examined the values and attitudes of two stakeholder groups for the Clearwater Forest Area in Alberta: campers using the area and the public living in or near the area. Data were collected by means of a mail survey conducted in 2001. The area is an important recreation destination for the local public, and most of the local public use the area for camping. Both the public and campers had favorable attitudes toward random camping, viewing it as having little environmental impact and as being a unique experience that is a right and tradition for Albertans. However, unrestricted use of off-highway vehicles was viewed by both groups as having negative environmental impacts. Both groups exhibited a strong biocentric orientation of forest values, supporting existence values, the inherent worth of forests, and spiritual aspects of forests. However, the stakeholders also showed some support for the use of forests by humans. In terms of their beliefs about the sustainability of Alberta’s forests, respondents believed that forests are being managed for multiple benefits but viewed timber supply and public involvement as inadequate. They viewed the oil and gas industry as the greatest threat to Alberta’s forests. The cumulative effects from all uses of the forest and the forest industry were also viewed as a threat. Water quality, ecosystem integrity, and cumulative effects were the top specific concerns related to forest management. Government and industry were the least trusted sources of information on forest management, whereas scientists were the most trusted. The implications for these findings in terms of public involvement and communications are discussed.