Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The effectiveness of woodland conservation in Rhode Island is increasingly important as economic development pressures sacrifice critical forestland for commercial, residential and infrastructure purposes. This study looks to determine components of forest conservation practices that could be better suited to best protect this important land. Through the content analysis of interviews and citizen surveys, the most critical areas in need of improved efforts were revealed. It was discovered that the various lenses used by entities prevented the most beneficial cooperative efforts and further sharing of limited resources would increase efficiency. Additionally, educational efforts are limited and too often performed by government agencies as opposed to NGOs, something the citizens of Rhode Island stated they were less apt to believe. To unify the perspectives of woodland conservation entities, a natural capital model should be adopted. Greater emphasis should be placed on the need for NGOs to increase their educational efforts, with a resulting ratio of two parts NGO and one part agency education. Meetings and website forums should be used for the entities to better share resources needed to properly and effectively conserve woodlands. By making changes in the areas described woodland conservation entities can expect increased success in their overall field of work that is so important for the future of the state and the world as a whole.