While many studies have investigated public opinion on climate change and some studies have been undertaken about the public's perceptions and valuation of forests, this will be the first study that investigates specifically how the public sees the issue of forests and climate change. Climate change is expected to directly impact forests by altering forest ecosystem processes and biodiversity. Climate change is also expected to increase the frequency and strength of forest disturbances via fire, drought, introduced species, insect and pathogen outbreaks, hurricanes, wind storms, and ice storms.Foresters are expected to adapt their management of forests based on these changes. In addition, maintaining and increasing forest area and density can be part of a strategy to mitigate the causes of climate change by sequestering carbon. Public uses of forests (both consumptive and non-consumptive) will be altered by climate change impacts and by the mitigation and adaptation measures implemented. We theorize that residents of areas where increased forest fires or other disruptions have already been experienced will be more aware of the threats posed by climate change than others. This research project will document how the public currently uses forests, their awareness of climate change-induced threats to the forests and forests role in mitigating climate change, and the level of support for a variety of mitigation and adaptive measures. We will produce these answers by conducting and analyzinga high quality national survey with an oversample of rural populations in four large (public or at least mixed) forested areas in each U.S. region.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/14 → 6/30/17|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))