Norton and Hannon (Environmental Ethics, 19(3), (1997), 227) proposed a theory of environmental evaluation based on a commitment to place or ‘sense of place’ wherein the intensity of environmental valuation is discounted from the home perspective across both time and space – a form of geographic discounting. This theory leads to a series of specific, testable scientific hypotheses relating the physical distance of an object from the point of residence to the intensity of value-judgements. Using community-based survey data collected as part of the planning process in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska (USA), this paper examines the statistical and spatial relationships between ecosystem values and respondent-selected locations on the regional landscape. The findings indicate that ecosystem values are not uniformly distributed across the landscape (not completely spatially random) and that some spatial relationships exist between selected ecosystem values and point of residence (community). The policy implications of these findings for natural resource planning and management are discussed, highlighting the importance of community-based environmental analysis.
Applied Geography – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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