Examining the role of voluntary associations in environmental management: the case of the Sam Houston national forest.
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The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of voluntary associations involved in forest management. The specific areas examined in this study include organizational attributes, membership profile, attitudes toward forest-management priorities, and concerns about forest-management issues. To achieve this purpose, data were collected using a case study approach with mixed-methods (document reviews, personal interviews, and a Web survey) at a national forest in Texas, USA. Overall, the voluntary associations in this study can be described as place-based, small to moderate in scale, activity-oriented, and active groups that are adaptive to sociopolitical and environmental changes. General group members placed high importance on aesthetic, ecological, and recreation management of the national forest. In addition, this study showed five key forest management issues: (1) limited recreation access; (2) financial challenges for forest management; (3) conflict among recreation user groups; (4) inadequate communication by the United States Forest Service to the general public, and (5) sustainability of the forest. Theoretical and managerial implications of the results are discussed.
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Lu, Jiaying||Schuett, Michael A