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Community Perceptions

Listening to the Voices of the Public

Addressing community impacts constitutes a major piece of the social feasibility and impact assessment for the AHB project. We have conducted over 30 focus groups throughout the Northwest with various community members, conservation groups, and industry representatives to facilitate the identification and elaboration of issues related to biofuels.

The focus groups brought up a wide array of issues including perceived economic benefits, environmental concerns, potential changes in the health and psychological well-being of the community, and community members’ fears and aspirations.

Our research team will use the data gathered from these focus groups to design surveys that will provide quantitative, generalizable data across our populations of interest. This will enable us to identify the most salient benefits and concerns and to suggest ways in which benefits can be harnessed and concerns minimized.

If a biofuels industry was viable and developed around here, maybe the State would change their policies to make a bit more of a push towards chipping and bit less toward burning. (Landowner, ID)

A long time ago Caterpillar had an ad which really struck a chord with me, and it was, ‘There are no simple solutions, just difficult trade-offs.’ And that’s what we’re dealing with here, is trying to figure out if this trade-off of a monoculture poplar field is better than the trade-off of importing oil from Iraq. (Environmental group, OR)