*Direct correspondence to Deborah Che, Western Michigan University, Department of Geography, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 〈firstname.lastname@example.org〉. The author will share data for purposes of replication. I would like to thank Andrew Jonas, Robert Lineberry, and Gavin Bridge for their constructive comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript and for their assistance during the publication process. In particular, Andrew Jonas provided comments, advice, and support from the time of the initial conference presentation and draft up to the final draft, which he took the time to read and immediately offer suggestions about while in the middle of intensive field research. The comments provided by Jonas, Bridge, and Lineberry, as well as those of five anonymous reviewers, strengthened this article. I would also like to thank the Forest County Action Team for including me in its USDA Forest Service grant and Anne Gibson for cartographic assistance.
The New Economy and the Forest: Rural Development in the Post-Industrial Spaces of the Rural Alleghenies*
Version of Record online: 4 NOV 2003
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 84, Issue 4, pages 963–978, December 2003
How to Cite
Che, D. (2003), The New Economy and the Forest: Rural Development in the Post-Industrial Spaces of the Rural Alleghenies. Social Science Quarterly, 84: 963–978. doi: 10.1046/j.0038-4941.2003.08404006.x
- Issue online: 4 NOV 2003
- Version of Record online: 4 NOV 2003
Objective. Government policy has long linked resource production with economic development in surrounding rural communities. The purpose of this article is to examine how the USDA Forest Service's (USFS) resource-based, rural development policies have shifted due to economic restructuring and environmental challenges to the “management” of nature.
Methods. Historical data was gathered on USFS timber harvests and policies toward forest-dependent communities. Data was also gathered through interviews and participant-observation on a USFS-supported, locally planned ecotourism project.
Results. USFS rural development policies have shifted from predominantly providing federally determined, sustained timber harvests in the industrial era to increasingly emphasizing local, amenity-based entrepreneurship and economic diversification in the post-industrial era.
Conclusions. USFS rural development policies and resource production have been de-coupled. However, amenity-based development may depend both on amenity migrants and sustained commitment from external sources to support local initiative, given limited entrepreneurship in rural areas long dependent on high-wage extraction and manufacturing.