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Journal of Environmental Planning and Management

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Forest Management -- Planning


National forest roads allow access to public lands providing connections to natural and cultural heritage. Planning processes that address potential road closures or conversions can be highly contentious. Public participatory GIS (PPGIS) has been used as a tool to gather information for environmental planning and decision-making. Our PPGIS approach in a national forest in Washington (USA) incorporated workshops and online engagement with 1,810 participants to gather public input for sustainable roads planning. We identified the most important forest destinations and developed an analytical framework for assessing forest roads based on the density and diversity of use. In this paper, we summarize our PPGIS process and identify challenges faced in the application of socio-spatial data. A comparative analysis of road planning in other forests further highlights challenges in incorporating public use data. While the PPGIS process was valued for relationship-building, it is less evident how directly the socio-spatial data informed outcomes.


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