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Portland, OR, United States

Poe M.R.,Northwest Sustainability Institute | McLain R.J.,Institute for Culture and Ecology | Emery M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Hurley P.T.,Ursinus College
Human Ecology | Year: 2013

Urban forests are multifunctional socio-ecological landscapes, yet some of their social benefits remain poorly understood. This paper draws on ethnographic evidence from Seattle, Washington to demonstrate that urban forests contain nontimber forest products that contribute a variety of wild foods, medicines, and materials for the wellbeing of urban residents. We show that gathering wild plants and fungi in urban forests is a persistent subsistence and livelihood practice that provides sociocultural and material benefits to city residents, and creates opportunities for connecting with nature and enhancing social ties. We suggest that an orientation toward human-nature interactions in cities that conceptualizes the gathering of forest products as a legitimate social benefit may support and expand urban forest justice. Urban forest justice recognizes the rights of local people to have control over their own culturally appropriate wild food and health systems, including access to natural resources and to the decision-making processes affecting them. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA). Source


McLain R.,Institute for Culture and Ecology | Poe M.,Institute for Culture and Ecology | Hurley P.T.,Ursinus College | Lecompte-Mastenbrook J.,University of Washington | Emery M.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Urban Forestry and Urban Greening | Year: 2012

Over the next decades, green infrastructure initiatives such as tree planting campaigns, and ecological restoration will dramatically change the species composition, species distribution and structure of urban forests across the United States. These impending changes are accompanied by a demand for urban public spaces where people can engage in practices such as gleaning, gardening, and livestock production. This article analyzes the institutional framework that undergirds efforts in Seattle, Washington to normalize the production and use of edible landscapes. We focus attention on the role of grassroots fruit gleaning groups and highlight their bridging function between Seattle's agriculture and forestry policy arenas, creating an entry point for re-conceptualizing urban forests as sites of production. We conclude that a vision of urban forests as providers of goods as well as services may provide a more solid foundation for achieving urban sustainability than the current " hands off" approach to urban forest management. Gleaning and gathering in urban wild and cultivated landscapes provides opportunities for inhabitants to steward public natural resources and interact deeply with nature. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. Source


McLain R.,Institute for Culture and Ecology | Poe M.,Northwest Sustainability Institute | Biedenweg K.,Puget Sound Institute | Cerveny L.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 2 more authors.
Human Ecology | Year: 2013

Ecosystem-based planning and management have stimulated the need to gather sociocultural values and human uses of land in formats accessible to diverse planners and researchers. Human Ecology Mapping (HEM) approaches offer promising spatial data gathering and analytical tools, while also addressing important questions about human-landscape connections. This article reviews and compares the characteristics of three HEM approaches that are increasingly used in natural resource management contexts, each focused on a particular aspect of human-environmental interactions. These aspects include tenure and resource use (TRU), local ecological knowledge (LEK), and sense of place (SOP). We discuss their origins, provide examples of their use, and identify challenges to their application. Our review serves as a guide for environmental managers, planners, and communities interested in gathering spatial data on aspects of human ecology important in ecosystem-based management and planning, and for scientists designing socioecological research. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA). Source

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