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Public Acceptance of Pre-Commercial Thinning and Energy and Soil Amendment Products from Post-Harvest Residues in Western Forests of the United States

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 34(1): 99-108 . (doi: 10.13031/aea.12366) @2018
Authors:   Daisuke Sasatani, Ivan L Eastin, C Tait Bowers, Indroneil Ganguly
Keywords:   Environmental Perceptions, Multinomial Logistic Regression, Natural Resource Management, Rural vs. Urban, Simulation-Based Approach.


The goals of the Waste-to-Wisdom project is to produce bioenergy products and biochar from post-harvest forest residues and thus understanding public acceptance of the forest management and utilizing forest residues for biomass-based products is critical. This research explores the public perceptions of producing bioenergy products and biochar from forest thinning activities in the western Pacific Northwest region. A web-based survey was conducted in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California generating 1,202 responses. Multinomial regression techniques and simulation-based approach were applied to analyze how demographic and socio-economic factors influence public perceptions. People living in less populated areas are more likely to support forest thinning. Higher levels of education and household income also lead to higher levels of support for forest thinning. On the other hand, supports for forest thinning results in supports for using forest residuals to produce bioenergy products. These results suggest that different strategies are necessary to effectively communicate the environmental and ecological benefits of using forest residuals derived from forest thinning activities to produce biomass-based products.

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