The attractiveness of forests: Preferences and perceptions in a mountain community in Italy
Keywords:public preferences, social perception, destination attractiveness, recreation in forest, ecotourism, Italian Alps
AbstractThe analysis of the perception and preferences of local communities is a fundamental aspect to increase the social sustainability and to reduce the conflicts between forest users. The knowledge of people’s perception of forest resources is important for decision makers, when implementing management strategies and this is particularly relevant in mountainous area, characterized by a strong link between local communities and forest. The paper focuses on the analysis of people’s perception and preferences regarding the recreational value of forests. The research has been carried out by means of a case study, the Municipality of Trento, located in the Centre East sector of the Italian Alps. This area was chosen on the grounds of its geographical location and of the historical links that exist between local communities and forest resources. The sample included 1,000 randomly selected families and the method of investigation used was a structured selfreported questionnaire. The data were processed taking into account the relationship between people’s perception and the main social characteristics of respondents (gender and age); this allowed statistical differences among groups to be highlighted. Forest attractiveness has been investigated considering: (i) forest accessibility, (ii) forest stand characteristics, (iii) visitor facilities and infrastructures. The results show that people prefer the open mixed forests with an irregular structure and some visitor facilities such as paths and refreshment points. Besides, people like to have facilities in the forests, but at the same time would like these forests to be little frequented by other visitors, in order to have a greater feeling of naturalness.
Beierle T. C. 1998. Public Participation in Environmental Decisions: An Evaluation Framework Using Social Goals. Discussion Paper 99-06,WashingtonDC: Resources for the future. Cantiani M. G., Bettelini D., Mariotta S. 2001. Participatory forest planning: a chance of communication between forest service and local communities. In: Proceedings of the International Conference FAO/ECE/ILO. Forestry meets the Public. Ruttihubelbad, pp 249-263. Carvalho-Ribeiro S. M., Lovett A. 2011. Is an attractive forest also considered well managed? Public preferences for forest cover and stand structure across a rural/urban gradient in northernPortugal. For Policy Econ, 13: 46-54. Cheng-Fei L., Hsun-I H., Huery-Ren Y. 2010. Developing an evaluation model for destination attractiveness: sustainable forest recreation tourism in Taiwan. J Sustain Tourism, 18(6): 811-828, 2010. DOI: 10.1080/09669581003690478 De Meo I., Cantiani M. G., Ferretti F., Paletto A. 2011. Stakeholders' Perception as Support for ForestLandscape Planning. Int J Ecol, 1: 1-8. DOI: 10.1155/2011/685708 Deng J., King B., Bauer T. 2002. Evaluating natural attractions for tourism. Ann Tourism Res, 29(2): 422–438. DOI: 10.1016/S0160-7383(01)00068-8 Evans J. 2001. The Forests Handbook: ApplyingForestScience for Sustainable Management.Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd. FAO, 2001. GlobalForestResources Assessment 2000. Main Report.Rome: FAO Forestry Paper 140. Grêt-Regamey A., Walz A., Bebi P. 2008. Valuing Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Landscape Planning in Alpine Regions. Mt Res Dev, 28: 156-165. DOI: 10.1659/mrd.0951 Hladnik D., Pirnat J. 2011. Urban forestry – linking naturalness and amenity: the case of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Urban For & Urban Greening, 10(2): 105-112. DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug. 2011.02.002 Hu Y., Ritchie J. R. B. 1993. Measuring Destination Attractiveness: A Contextual Approach. J Travel Res, 32(2): 25-34. DOI: 10.1177/004728759303200204 Kangas A., Laukkanen S., Kangas J. 2006. Social choice theory and its applications in sustainable forest management - a review. For Policy Econ, 9: 77-92. Kangas J, Store R. 2002. Socioecological Landscape Planning: An Approach to Multi-Functional ForestManagement. Silva Fenn, 36(4): 867-871. DOI: 10.14214/sf.527 Kim S. S., Lee C. K., Klenosky D. B. 2003. The influence of push and pull factors at Korean national parks. Tourism Manage, 24: 169-180. DOI: 10.1016/S0261-5177(02)00059-6 Inglehart R. 1997. Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic, and Political Change in 43 Societies. Princeton:PrincetonUniversityPress. Laws E. 1995. Tourism destination management: Issues, analysis, and policies.New York: Routledge. Lewis J. L., Sheppard S. R. J. 2005. Ancient Values, New Challenges: Indigenous Spiritual Perceptions of Landscapes and ForestManagement. Soc Nat Resour, 18: 907-920. DOI: 10.1080/08941920500205533 Luo J., Zheng J. 2008. Ecotourism in nature reserves inChina: current situation, problems and solutions.ForestSc Pract, 10(2): 130-133. Martin S. 2008. Developing woodlands for tourism: Concepts, connections and challenges. J Sustain Tourism, 16(4): 386-407. DOI: 10.1080/09669580802154181 Mayo E. J., Jarvis L. P. 1981. The psychology of leisure travel: effective marketing and selling of travel service.Boston: CBI Publishing. Montini A. 2001. The use of questionnaire in the contingent valuation.Torino,Italy: Fabio Nuti, Giappichelli Editore. Nielsen A. B., Olsenb S. B., Lundhede T. 2007. An economic valuation of the recreational benefits associated with nature-based forest management practices. Landscape Urban Plan, 80: 63-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2006.06.003 Nordlund A., Westin K. 2011. Forest values and forest management attitudes among private forest owners in Sweden. Forests, 2: 30-50. DOI: 10.3390/f2010030 Notaro S., Paletto A. 2011. Links between Mountain Communities and Environmental Services in the Italian Alps. Sociol Ruralis, 5: 137-157. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2011.00532.x Paletto A., Maino F., De Meo I., Ferretti F. 2012a. Perception of forest values in the alpine community of Trentino region (Italy). Environ Manage, 51(2): 414-422. DOI: 10.1007/ s00267-012-9974-7 Paletto A., Ferretti F., Cantiani P., De Meo I. 2012b. Multi-functional approach in forest landscape management planning: an application in Southern Italy. ForestSystems, 21(1): 68-80. DOI: 10.5424/fs/2112211-11066 Pommerening A. 2002. Approaches to quantifying forest structures. Forestry, 75: 305-324. DOI: 10.1093/forestry/75.3.305 Schmithüsen F., Wild-Eck S. 2000. Uses and perceptions of forests by people living in urban areas - findings from selected empirical studies.EurJForestRes, 119: 395-408. Sheppard S. R. J., Meitner M. 2005. Using multi-criteria analysis and visualisation for sustainable forest management planning with stakeholder groups. Forest Ecol Manag, 207: 171-187. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2004.10.032 Sewell W. R. D. 1974. Perceptions, attitudes and public participation in countryside management inScotland. J Environ Manage, 2: 235-257. Smith J. W., Siderelis C., MooreR. L., AndersonD. H. 2012. The effects of place meanings and social capital on desired forest management outcomes: A stated preference experiment. Landscape Urban Plan, 106: 207-218. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.03.009 Stern P. C., Dietz T., Kalof L. 1993. Value orientations, gender, and environmental concern, Environ Behav, 25(5): 322-348. DOI: 10.1177/0013916593255002 Šišák L. 2011.Forestvisitors' opinions on the importance of forest operations, forest functions and sources of their financing. J For Sc, 57: 266-270. Tahvanainen L., Tyrvainen L., Ihalainen M., Vuorela N., Kolehmainen O. 2011. Forestmanagement and public perceptions – visual versus verbal information. Landscape Urban Plan, 53: 53-70. DOI: 10.1016/S0169-2046(00)00137-7 Tarrant M. A., Cordell H. K., Green G. T. 2003. PVF. A scale to measure public values of forests. JForest, 9:24-30. Tefera M., Demel T., Hultén H., Yemshaw Y. 2005. The Role of Communities in Closed Area Management in Ethiopia. Mt Res Dev, 25(1): 44-50. DOI: 10.1659/0276-4741(2005)025 [0044:TROCIC]2.0.CO;2 Van Raaij W. F. 1986. Consumer research on tourism: Mental and behavioral constructs. Ann Tourism Res, 13(1): 1-9. DOI: 10.1016/0160-7383(86)90054-X Vierikko K., Kohl J. 2009. Improving the ecologically sustainable forest management behaviour - qualitative frame analysis for argumentation. Ann. For. Res. 52: 169-1 Vincent J. R., Binkley C. S. 1993. Efficient Multiple Use Forestry may require Land-Use specialization. Land Econ, 69(4): 370-376. DOI: 10.2307/3146454
All the papers published in Annals of Forest Research are available under an open access policy (Gratis Gold Open Access Licence), which guaranty the free (of taxes) and unlimited access, for anyone, to entire content of the all published articles. The users are free to “read, copy, distribute, print, search or refers to the full text of these articles”, as long they mention the source.
The other materials (texts, images, graphical elements presented on the Website) are protected by copyright.
The journal exerts a permanent quality check, based on an established protocol for publishing the manuscripts. The potential article to be published are evaluated (peer-review) by members of the Editorial Board or other collaborators with competences on the paper topics. The publishing of manuscript is free of charge, all the costs being supported by Forest Research and Management Institute.
More details about Open Access: