Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

Chad D. Pierskalla.


Over the past three decades forest planning has undergone significant changes. First, planning has shifted from a synoptic to transactive process allowing the public a greater say in the decision making process. Second, ecosystem management has been the predominant philosophy in forest management since the 1990s which suggests involving a search for an ecosystem wide, long-term optimal solution toward management that integrates human desires and needs with ecological needs and technological and economic considerations. In taking an ecosystem-level approach, it is an extension of decentralized management by involving collaboration from multiple disciplines. Ecosystem management requires methods of data collection and information presentation to be timely and efficient to allow for changes when necessary. This is especially true when monitoring dynamic processes such as social change. Together, these three considerations suggest information needed in forest planning needs to be usable: from state-of-the-art science and timely research that is built upon previously understood information that directly addresses a decision maker's needs and is presented in a clear and effective manner. This dissertation describes three approaches of examining social change used during National Forest Plan revision. Each approach details how social change was measured and presented in a usable manner to improve agency/public communication while fitting into an adaptive management process of planning and includes examples related to the analysis of social trends, cartographic mapping, and sense of place.