Socioeconomic characteristics of communities with national forests in the United States
Sepsey, Katlyn Elizabeth
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The U.S. Forest Service contributes ecological and economic benefits to the public through its management of the National Forest System. Previous research has indicated that protected natural areas have positive, negative, and no effect on surrounding communities. This research examined the median household income, percentage below poverty threshold, and unemployment rate in counties containing national forests in the United States and compared them to counties without national forest. On a national scale, counties containing national forest have indications of lower socioeconomic position than counties without national forests. On a regional scale, the intermountain west and Rocky Mountain states have implied higher median household income in counties containing national forests. On a state scale, states west of Texas, except for Washington, had no statistical differences between county groups. East of Texas, there were indications of higher, lower, and no difference in socioeconomic position for counties with national forest.