Environmental Management

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 756–767 | Cite as

Using Canonical Correlation Analysis to Identify Environmental Attitude Groups: Considerations for National Forest Planning in the Southwestern U.S.

  • Alejandro J. Prera
  • Kristine M. Grimsrud
  • Jennifer A. Thacher
  • Dan W. McCollum
  • Robert P. Berrens


As public land management agencies pursue region-specific resource management plans, with meaningful consideration of public attitudes and values, there is a need to characterize the complex mix of environmental attitudes in a diverse population. The contribution of this investigation is to make use of a unique household, mail/internet survey data set collected in 2007 in the Southwestern United States (Region 3 of the U.S. Forest Service). With over 5,800 survey responses to a set of 25 Public Land Value statements, canonical correlation analysis is able to identify 7 statistically distinct environmental attitudinal groups. We also examine the effect of expected changes in regional demographics on overall environmental attitudes, which may help guide in the development of socially acceptable long-term forest management policies. Results show significant support for conservationist management policies and passive environmental values, as well as a greater role for stakeholder groups in generating consensus for current and future forest management policies.


Forest policy National forests and grasslands Public Land Values Multivariate analysis 



We thank Carolyn Sieg, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Flagstaff, AZ, for research support. Funding was provided under Joint Venture Agreements (06-JV-199 and 05-JV-257) between the Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, and the Rocky Mountain Research Station (Flagstaff, AZ, and Fort Collins, CO, respectively), U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. We would also like to thank an anonymous reviewer and the editor for suggesting additional sensitivity tests on the imputation method and results.


  1. Abdi H (2003) Factor rotations in factor analyses. Encyclopedia for research methods for the social sciences. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp 792–795Google Scholar
  2. Afifi AA, Clark V (2004) Computer-aided multivariate analysis. CRC Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Aldrich GA, Grimsrud KM, Thacher JA, Kotchen MJ (2007) Relating environmental attitudes and contingent values: how robust are methods for identifying preference heterogeneity? Environ Resour Econ 37:757–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen SD, Wickwar DA, Clark FP, Potts R, Snyder SA (2009) Values, beliefs, and attitudes technical guide for Forest Service land and resource management, planning, and decisionmaking. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-788. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR, iii + 112 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Barcikowski RS, Stevens JP (1975) A Monte Carlo study of the stability of canonical correlations, canonical weights and canonical variate–variable correlations. Multivar Behav Res 10:353–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartlett MS (1941) The statistical significance of canonical correlations. Biometrika 32:29–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bengston DN (1994) Changing forest values and ecosystem management. Soc Nat Resour 7:515–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bengston DN, Xu Z (1995) Changing national forest values: a content analysis. USDA Forest Service Research Paper NC-323. USDA Forest Service, St. Paul, MNGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown Reed (2000) Validation of a forest values typology for use in national forest planning. For Sci 46:240–247Google Scholar
  10. Campbell PR (1996) Population projections for states by age, sex, race, and hispanic origin: 1995 to 2025, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Population Division, PPL-47Google Scholar
  11. Chavez DJ, Olson DD (2009) Opinions of Latino outdoor recreation visitors at four urban national forests. Environ Pract 11:263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark D (1975) Understanding canonical correlation analysis. Geo Abstracts LimitedGoogle Scholar
  13. Clement JM, Cheng AS (2011) Using analyses of public value orientations, attitudes and preferences to inform national forest planning in Colorado and Wyoming. Appl Geogr 31:393–400. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.10.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Connelly NA, Brown TL, Decker DJ (2003) Factors affecting response rates to natural resource-focused mail surveys: Empirical evidence of declining rates over time. Soc Nat Resour 16:541–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cordell HK, Green GT, Betz CJ (2002) Recreation and the environment as cultural dimensions in contemporary American society. Leisure Sci 24:13–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cottrell SP (2003) Influence of sociodemographics and environmental attitudes on general responsible environmental behavior among recreational boaters. Environ Behav 35:347–375. doi: 10.1177/0013916503035003003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Day JC, Bauman K (2000) Have we reached the top? Educational attainment projections of the US population. Population Division, US Census BureauGoogle Scholar
  18. Deaton A (1997) The analysis of household surveys: a microeconometric approach to development policy. World Bank PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  19. Dietz T, Fitzgerald A, Shwom R (2005) Environmental values. Annu Rev Environ Resour 30:335–372. doi: 10.1146/annurev.energy.30.050504.144444 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dillman DA (1978) Mail and telephone surveys. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Federal Register (2012) Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 36 CFR Part 219. National Forest System Land Management Planning: Final Rule and Record of Decision. Federal Register vol 77, pp 21162–211276Google Scholar
  22. Fischer A (2010) On the role of ideas of human nature in shaping attitudes towards environmental governance. Hum Ecol 38:123–135. doi: 10.1007/s10745-009-9281-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Haefele MA, Shields DJ, Lybecker DL (2005) Survey responses from Region 3: are we achieving the public’s objectives for forests and rangelands? US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research StationGoogle Scholar
  24. Hotelling H (1936) Relations Between two sets of variates. Biometrika 28:321–377. doi: 10.2307/2333955 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Johnson CY, Bowker JM, Bergstrom JC, Ken Cordell H (2004) Wilderness values in America: does immigrant status or ethnicity matter? Soc Nat Resour 17:611–628. doi: 10.1080/08941920490466585 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kennedy JJ, Koch NE (2004) Viewing and managing natural resources as human–ecosystem relationships. For Policy Econ 6:497–504. doi: 10.1016/j.forpol.2004.01.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kish L (1992) Weighting for unequal P i. J Off Stat 8:183–200Google Scholar
  28. Kotchen MJ, Reiling SD (2000) Environmental attitudes, motivations, and contingent valuation of nonuse values: a case study involving endangered species. Ecol Econ 32:93–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Krosnick JA (1999) Survey research. Annu Rev Psychol 50:537–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lambert ZV, Durand RM (1975) Some precautions in using canonical analysis. J Mark Res 12:468–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Larson LR, Whiting JW, Green GT (2011) Exploring the influence of outdoor recreation participation on pro-environmental behaviour in a demographically diverse population. Local Environ 16:67–86. doi: 10.1080/13549839.2010.548373 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Little RJ (1986) Survey nonresponse adjustments. Int Stat Rev 54:3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lybecker DL, Shields DJ, Haefele MA (2005) Survey responses from the Intermountain West: are we achieving the public’s objectives for forests and rangelands? US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research StationGoogle Scholar
  34. Manning R, Valliere W, Minteer B (1999) Values, ethics, and attitudes toward national forest management: an empirical study. Soc Nat Resour 12:421–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McCollum D, Prera AJ, Bjarke J, Hand M, Thacher J, Berrens B (2008) Background documentation report: attitudes, beliefs, and values towards national forests and national forest management. p 141. http://quaero.unm.edu/surveyentry/FinalReport.pdf
  36. McFarlane BL, Boxall PC (1996) Exploring forest and recreation management preferences of forest recreationists in Alberta. For Chron 72:623–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McFarlane BL, Boxall PC (2000) Factors influencing forest values and attitudes of two stakeholder groups: the case of the Foothills Model Forest, Alberta, Canada. Soc Nat Resour 13:649–661. doi: 10.1080/08941920050121927 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McGarigal K, Cushman S, Stafford S (2000) Multivariate statistics for wildlife and ecology research. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Milfont TL, Duckitt J (2010) The environmental attitudes inventory: a valid and reliable measure to assess the structure of environmental attitudes. J Environ Psychol 30:80–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Minteer BA, Manning RE (1999) Pragmatism in environmental ethics: democracy, pluralism, and the management of nature. Environ Ethics 21:191–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mobley C, Vagias WM, DeWard SL (2010) Exploring additional determinants of environmentally responsible behavior: the influence of environmental literature and environmental attitudes. Environ Behav 42:420–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Olli E, Grendstad G, Wollebaek D (2001) Correlates of environmental behaviors bringing back social context. Environ Behav 33:181–208. doi: 10.1177/0013916501332002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ortman JM, Guarneri CE (2009) United States population projections: 2000 to 2050. United States Census BureauGoogle Scholar
  44. Rolston H, Coufal J (1991) A forest ethic and multivalue forest management. J For 89:35–40Google Scholar
  45. Ruhl JB (2010) Ecosystem services and federal public lands: start-up policy questions and research needs. Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum pp 275–290Google Scholar
  46. Shields DJ, Martin IM, Martin WE, Haefele MA (2002) Survey results of the American public’s values, objectives, beliefs, and attitudes regarding forests and grasslands: a technical document supporting the 2000 USDA Forest Service RPA AssessmentGoogle Scholar
  47. Shinew KJ, Stodolska M, Floyd M, Hibbler D, Allison M, Johnson C, Santos C (2006) Race and ethnicity in leisure behavior: where have we been and where do we need to go? Leisure Sci 28:403–408. doi: 10.1080/01490400600745902 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Spash CL (2006) Non-economic motivation for contingent values: rights and attitudinal beliefs in the willingness to pay for environmental improvements. Land Econ 82:602–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. StataCorp LP (2013) Multiple-imputation reference manual. Stata Press, College Station, TXGoogle Scholar
  50. Steel BS, List P, Shindler B (1994) Conflicting values about federal forests: a comparison of national and Oregon publics. Soc Nat Resour 7:137–153. doi: 10.1080/08941929409380852 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stern PC (2000) Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. J Soc Issues 56:407–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stern PC, Dietz T, Guagnano GA (1995) The new ecological paradigm in social-psychological context. Environ Behav 27:723–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tarrant MA, Cordell HK, Green GT (2003) PVF: a scale to measure public values of forests. J For 101:24–30Google Scholar
  54. U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS). 2007. USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan: FY 2007–2012. FS-880. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC, 38 p. http://www.fs.fed.us/publications/strategic/fs-sp-fy07-12.pdf. Accessed 15 Nov 2012
  55. U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS). 2010. Land Areas of the National Forest System, as of September 30, 2009. FS-383. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC, 158 p. http://www.fs.fed.us/land/staff/lar/2009/FY2009_LAR_Book_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 15 Nov 2012
  56. Vaske JJ, Donnelly MP, Williams DR, Jonker S (2001) Demographic influences on environmental value orientations and normative beliefs about national forest management. Soc Nat Resour 14:761–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro J. Prera
    • 1
  • Kristine M. Grimsrud
    • 2
  • Jennifer A. Thacher
    • 3
  • Dan W. McCollum
    • 4
  • Robert P. Berrens
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Economic SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  2. 2.Statistics NorwayOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest ServiceRocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)Ft. CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations