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Occasional Papers in Geography Publication No. 8

In 2015, Portland State University, the US Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, Deschutes National Forest (DNF), Ochoco National Forest (ONF), US Forest Service Region 6, and Discover Your Forest embarked on a collaborative project to understand spatial patterns of public use on the national forests and grasslands of Central Oregon and the ecosystem benefits attached to those places. At the time the project began, the DNF and ONF anticipated that they would be revising their forest/grassland plans in the near future. This human ecology mapping project generated socio-spatial data layers describing the myriad connections people have with these public lands.

Data were gathered in 2016-2017 using an online survey that included both an interactive web map and a set of closed and open-ended questions. The map-based survey elicited data about six major themes: 1) Locations of important places; 2) Activities engaged in at those places; 3) Benefits associated with those places; 4) Features, (physical and built) that were most important at those places; 5) Social environment that participants preferred; 6) Threats and management concerns for the identified places. The mapping survey was followed by a series of demographic questions and questions aimed at eliciting participant views on natural resources and the environment.

Both online and offline survey strategies were used with a large majority of the data collected online. A total of 542 individuals participated in the mapping surveys, resulting in the collection of 2038 useable points. For the spatial data, kernel density analysis was used to show how points were spatially concentrated for different characteristics. Diversity and frequency ratio calculations were also performed, and the data were disaggregated to show results for each ranger district individually.

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Department of Geography Portland State University




Deschutes National Forest (Or.) -- Management, Ochoco National Forest (Or.) -- Management, Crooked River National Grassland (Or.) -- Management, Public lands -- Oregon -- Recreational use, Recreational surveys -- Oregon


Geographic Information Sciences | Physical and Environmental Geography

Persistent Identifier

Socio-Ecological Interactions in the National Forests and Grasslands of Central Oregon: A Summary of Human Ecology Mapping Results