Using quantitative analysis of questionnaire responses, observations during focus group discussions, and qualitative assessment of discussion statements, the present study examined trust and social representations of the U.S. Forest Service’s management of Southern California national forests for the protection of endangered species. Supporting expectations based on the salient values similarity (SVS) model, it was found that (a) trust was highly correlated to assessments of shared salient values, and (b) trust and both the evaluation and acceptance of specific forest management practices were strongly related. Four patterns of social representations of shared value saliency and trust of U.S. Forest Service forest management to protect species were identified. Results demonstrate the importance of trust to the acceptance of forest management practices. They also suggest the need to recognize the influence of perceived variations in saliency of values in the SVS model.
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