Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology and Anthropology

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

Richard Krannich


Richard Krannich


Courtney Flint


Steve Daniels


The western United States contain large amounts of federal public lands, and those lands play an important role in both those states’ economies and the daily
lives of their residents. This study set out to understand how individuals interact with those public lands, how they become attached on a deeper level to those lands,
and whether or not that attachment has an effect on how they feel about the federal agencies that manage those lands. The term attachment to public lands is used to
describe how individuals can develop a bond towards public lands through both the recreational and economic opportunities they provide and the emotional
connections gained through interaction with those public lands. This research uses of the 2007 Public Lands and Utah Communities survey and an analysis method
referred to as the “inverted-R analysis,” which was used to organize the survey data by the respondents expressed attachment to public lands. Results indicate that the
term attachment to public lands offers some promise for understanding Westerners’ relationships with public lands, and the majority of survey respondents expressed a
strong attachment to public lands. Additionally, opinions about land managers are generally negative throughout all respondents, however no connection was found
between those opinions and attachment to public lands.



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