Resource Use, Dependence And Vulnerability: Community-resource Linkages On Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
Free (open access)
263 - 272
E. T. Mekbeb, R. J. Lilieholm, D. J. Blahna & L. E. Kruger
Understanding how rural communities use and depend upon local natural resources is a critical factor in developing policies to sustain the long-term viability of human and natural systems. Such \“community-resource” linkages are particularly important in Alaska, where rural communities – many of them comprised of indigenous Alaskan Natives – are highly dependent upon local resources found on public lands. Alaskan communities utilize forests in many ways. To better understand these coupled \“social-ecological” systems, we combined socio-economic data from the 2000 U.S. Census with timber permit data from the USDA Forest Service to describe communities and their use of forest resources. Our results suggest that private access to public resources is an important feature of Alaskan communities, and that continued access is likely to be a key factor in sustaining human systems on the landscape. As a result, public land managers should give special consideration to local resource use when making policy decisions. Keywords: economics, ecosystem management, environmental services, timberdependent communities, resilience, social capital, sustainable development.
economics, ecosystem management, environmental services, timberdependent communities, resilience, social capital, sustainable development