Roads on the U.S. national forests. An analysis of public attitudes, beliefs, and values expressed in the news media

David N. Bengston, David P. Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public attitudes, beliefs, and underlying values about roads on the U.S. national forests expressed in more than 4,000 on-line news stories during a 3-year period are analyzed by using computer methods. The belief that forest roads provide access for recreation was expressed most frequently, accounting for about 40% of all beliefs expressed. The belief that roads cause ecological damage was the second-most prominent belief. The volume and nature of media debate about forest roads changed in the third quarter of 1997 due to narrowly defeated proposals in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to make major cuts in spending on roads. During this quarter, the belief that road building on the national forests is a subsidy to the timber industry was expressed most frequently. Implications for developing a transportation policy for the national forests that more accurately reflects current social attitudes, beliefs, and values are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-539
Number of pages26
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1999

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