UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Application of a land use planning decision support tool in a public participatory process for sustainable forest management Cavill, Jacqueline


Persistent conflicts between stakeholders and complex trade offs among forest values have created a difficult decision environment for sustainable forest management. Tools developed for decision support in land use planning are essential for managing these challenges. This research study is an interactive assessment of a land use planning Decision Support Tool (DST) in the Invermere Timber Supply Area (TSA), located in the East Kootenay area of British Columbia. The aim of this study is to explore whether stakeholders' initial stated preferences change and whether trade-offs are made between various forest values upon observation of a long-term forecast of these values using a DST. Representatives from various stakeholder groups in the area were assembled for individual sessions to interact with the multi-criteria DST. Participants were required to state their preferences for six forest values using a weighting scheme. The DST developed an output for each forest value based on the participants' preferences. Upon review of the DST output, the participant had the opportunity to alter their initial preferences iteratively until a desirable output was found. The results indicate that participants' preferences changed after reviewing the DST outputs and that participants are willing to make trade-offs between various forest values using a DST to find a desirable solution. However, the preference order of the forest values changed only slightly from the participants' initial to preferred scenarios; instead participants made drastic changes to the weighting of each value to find a desirable output. Participants also stated their willingness to use DSTs for land use planning decision-making, although underlying assumptions built into the model must be improved before stakeholders can trust the tool as an aid for decision-making. Studies such as this can further the development of DSTs to help find desirable decisions for sustainable resource management and to help create a productive and engaging process.

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