Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 167–183 | Cite as

Incorporating Values into Community-Scale Sustainable Forest Management Plans: An Application of Q Methodology

  • Sandra Rodriguez-Piñeros
  • Will Focht
  • David K. Lewis
  • Diane Montgomery
Research Paper


Incorporating people’s values into forest management plans is an important component of sustainable forestry practice. Q methodology was used to identify perspectives on sustainable management of a community-owned forest reserve in a village in Puebla, Mexico. The study demonstrates the value of Q methodology in characterizing the views of citizens toward the forest and accommodating these views in a sustainable forest management plan. The plan we developed based on our research enjoyed widespread community support and far outdistanced its support of two alternative plans developed by outsiders. Our plan reflected the village’s strong preference for non-consumptive uses with regulated timber harvesting to sustain the ecological health of the forest and to provide short-term economic benefits.


Sustainable forest management Q methodology Forest values Community forestry Public participation 



This project was supported by the Associate Dean of Academics at the College of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources in Oklahoma State University and the office of the Vice president for Outreach and Development at Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla, Mexico. Special thanks to the members of the community La Preciosita for their willingness to participate and Mr. James Esbenshade for the 2007 scholarship in Rural Sustainability. We also thank our two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments that greatly improved this paper.


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Rodriguez-Piñeros
    • 1
  • Will Focht
    • 2
  • David K. Lewis
    • 3
  • Diane Montgomery
    • 4
  1. 1.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Natural Resources Ecology and ManagementOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  4. 4.School of Applied Health and Educational PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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