Maine Forest and Forest Products Survey: Preliminary Findings
The Maine Forest and Forest Products Survey was developed as part of the University of Maine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) in an effort to identify Maine residents’ views towards forests, forest practices, and emerging technologies in forest-based biorefining. The survey, mailed to 3,000 Maine households between late January and early March of 2009, also included a set of questions to allow us to understand how respondent environmental and economic security views were likely to influence their responses.
Since forest-based biorefineries have neither a history in the State nor a project development equivalent to benchmark public sentiment, the survey asked the respondents to rate potential attributes related to a biorefinery project as a first step in understanding public attitudes. The attributes included both positive and negative potential impacts associated with the development of a forest-based biorefinery project, and preceded the section that asked respondents to directly rate their level of support for forest-based biorefinery projects. Since the industry has the potential to affect forest management practices in the State (Lilieholm et al. 2009), the survey included a section where respondents were asked to rate forest management objectives. Again, these questions were asked prior to questions relating to the level of support for biorefinery projects.