SOCIO-2: July 2000 Progress Report

"What are the attitudes and values of southern residents toward forests and their management and how have they changed over time and do they differ by demographic groups?"

Michael A. Tarrant and H. Ken Cordell

July 18-19, 2000, Nashville TN

The following (slightly revised) objectives will be examined:

  1. To describe the social, economic, and demographic characteristics of southern residents from 1980 to 1990.
  2. To distinguish between public values of private and public forests.
  3. To examine public attitudes toward environmental protection and private property rights.
  4. To evaluate public attitudes and values by:
    1. urban versus rural residents;
    2. intergenerational differences;
    3. length of residency;
    4. landowners versus non-landowners;
    5. different regions within the South.
  5. To suggest potential broad changes in public attitudes and values toward forests and their management.


The following methods are being used to address the objectives.

Geographic Information Systems

Arcview GIS (Version 3.2) will be used to display and analyze demographic data at census tract level (objective #1, above). Data from the 1980 and 1990 U.S. Bureau of the Census will be used to identify trends and current conditions in the South’s population. Data sets have been ordered and development of a thematic GIS (Arcview) project file (on CD) will begin in August, 2000.

National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, 2000

Questions corresponding to objectives #2-4 (above) are being measured as part of the current National Survey of Recreation and the Environment (NSRE), 2000. These questions (along with a justification) are attached with this correspondence. Of an estimated final sample size of five thousand respondents, to date approximately 70% (n=3,496) of the surveys have been completed. Analysis of the data will begin in August, 2000. Social science statistical techniques (e.g., analysis of variance, multiple regression and Confirmatory Factor Analysis) will be used to examine differences in public attitudes and values across social demographic groups (e.g., urban versus rural, landowners versus non-landowners, etc.).

Literature Review

A literature review of previous published case studies will be conducted and secondary data (where appropriate and available) will be compiled in order to understand trends and current conditions in public attitudes and values of forests and forest management in the South (objective #5, above). Identification and compilation of relevant literature has begun. Synthesis of the material will begin in August, 2000.


The following products will be delivered.

  1. A written  (approximately 20-25 page publication-quality) report of (NSRE sampled) residents’ attitudes and values toward forests and their management in the South. The report will cover all three objectives and include, as an appendix, the literature review.
  2. An Arcview GIS project containing shape files of all Census blocks in the South with corresponding information on demographic characteristics.
  3. A Power Point presentation with high quality illustrations for use in presentations and a source of general summary information accessible via the Internet.



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 modified: 28-JUL-2000