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Monday, April 9 • 10:15am - 10:30am
PEOPLE AND LANDSCAPES: Place-based Characteristics Defining Trajectories of Rural Forest-based Communities

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AUTHORS: Anita T. Morzillo*, University of Connecticut; Mindy S. Crandall, University of Maine; Kathleen P. Bell, University of Maine; Darla K. Munroe, Ohio State University; Chris R. Colocousis, James Madison University

ABSTRACT: The decline of traditional natural resource-based industries introduces challenges and opportunities for rural communities. Collectively, the future trajectories of these communities have enormous consequences for forested landscapes and the myriad ecosystem services they provide. We examined recent community trajectories in terms of reliance on new manufacturing or new amenity-based industries or continued reliance on traditional industries to glean insights about similarities and differences across communities, document patterns in community responses to landscape shocks, and assess linkages between local- and regional-scale landscape shocks. We focused on 8,650 communities positioned within forested regions that are neither within unpopulated wilderness nor suburban or urban areas. In 2010, these areas included 27% of the continental US, less than 5% of the US population, and an average of 60% forest cover. Using diverse data describing the place-based characteristics of these communities and their surrounding landscapes, we established groupings of communities using cluster analysis and tested these groupings against established potential trajectories, including: production-shock-economic decline; production-shock-amenity based; or production-shock- reinvented production. Our results show strong patterns across communities, and that place-based characteristics influence how communities adapt to changes like decline in natural resources employment. These findings improve understanding of community and landscape change, and reveal challenges and opportunities for maintaining forested landscapes.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:15am - 10:30am CDT
LaSalle 2 (7th Floor)