This research explores the mental and biophysical terrains of family forest owners' relationships with biodiversity. We used concept mapping, in-depth unstructured interviews, property mapping, and field observation to explore owners' knowledge, beliefs and management approaches. We conducted our research in one watershed in the Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) ecotype of western Oregon, an ecotype that is considered at risk. The owners in our sample are knowledgeable about the concept of biodiversity and believe they should steward the biodiversity of their forests through management. However, their notion of biodiversity appears to be quite generic, rather than specific to the oak ecotype in which they own land. Moreover, external economic and social forces encourage them to manage for Douglas fir rather than oak. Extending Schneider and Ingram's ( 1990) theoretical policy framework to conservation, we propose ways for policy to address these limitations and build on owners' motivations.
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