Public trust and knowledge in the context of emerging climate-adaptive forestry policies.

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Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 404 words

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Keywords Public trust; Knowledge; Forest management; Assisted migration; Climate change adaptation; Policy support Highlights * Little is known about how public trust and knowledge relate to support for climate adaptive forest management like assisted migration. * We find low levels of public trust in governments and low forestry knowledge. * Individuals who are more trusting of decision-makers hold higher levels of support for assisted migration. * Higher levels of forestry knowledge are linked with support for assisted migration within native range. * No knowledge effect is observed for assisted migration outside of native range. Abstract Effective governance of public forests depends, in part, on public support for changes in forest management, particularly those responding to changes in socio-ecological conditions driven by climate change. Trust in managing authorities and knowledge about forest management have proven influential in shaping public support for policy across different forest managemen contexts. However, little is known about the relationship between public trust and knowledge as it relates to policy support for emerging management strategies for climate adaptation in forests. We use the example of genomics-based assisted migration (within and outside of natural range) in British Columbia's (BC) forests to examine the relative roles of and interactions between trust in different forestry actors and knowledge of forestry in shaping public support for this new and potentially controversial management alternative. Our results, based on an online survey (n = 1953 BC residents), reveal low public trust in governments and the forest industry combined with low levels of public knowledge about forest management. We find that individuals who are more trusting of decision-makers and other important forestry actors hold higher levels of support for assisted migration. Higher levels of forestry knowledge are linked with support for assisted migration within native range, whereas no knowledge effect is observed for assisted migration outside of native range. We discuss the implications of these observations and provide recommendations to more fully engage with the challenges of low levels of trust and knowledge in this context. Author Affiliation: (a) Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, 2900 -- 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada (b) Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 27 February 2019; Revised 17 April 2019; Accepted 17 April 2019 Byline: Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent [guillaume.peterson@ubc.ca] (a,*), Shannon Hagerman (a), Kieran M. Findlater (a,b), Robert Kozak (a)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A585370157