Collaborative Interface Modeling of Fuel Wood Harvesting Practices: Residential NIPF Landowners of the Jefferson National Forest Wildland/Urban Interface, Montgomery County, Virginia
Fogel, Jonah Malachai
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Residential non-industrial private forest (NIPF) owners within the Wildland/Urban interface are an increasingly important forest owner demographic. An increase in rural residential land use is fragmenting historically large contiguous forestlands. Consequently resource management has become decentralized. NIPF-landowners, as the new land managers, must now be capable of creating resilient forest ecosystems at the landscape scale. To overcome this issue landowners and resource managers at all levels of decision-making (including landowners) must come to understand how social structures such as psychology, organizations, institutions, and culture are linked to behavior and the physical world. Collaborative Interface Modeling (CIM) has been created in response to an information gap that exists between the social and natural sciences at the site scale. CIM reveals the causal linkages between land use decisions and their effects allowing landowners to more closely trace and investigate their management policies, behaviors, and feelings as well as the consequences of those behaviors. A demonstration of the CIM process with residential forest landowners is conducted to evaluate the process and detect possible implications of encroaching development on the Jefferson National Forest in Montgomery County, Virginia. A focus on fuel wood collection was established because it has been noted as a potential source of negative impact. Possible implications and improvements to the CIM process are also noted.
- Masters Theses