The assessment of community values regarding multiple uses of State owned or managed lands is a vital part of the planning process since these values may influence land use decisions in these areas. To assist in the determination of land use values which are compatible with both community values and land use capacity for the Glen Rock Property, an assessment of community values was conducted where a current planning process is in place. The interest group consisted of members of the community who directly or indirectly have an interest in the outcomes of the planning process and are involved in the planning process.
Community values were assessed in order to assist in the determination of socially responsive management plans for the Glen Rock area. These values will be integrated with expert assessments done in other studies conducted for the Glen Rock planning process. These expert assessments deal with the land use capacity of different planning units to determine the best land use or combination of uses that will be managed in such planning units. Specifically, the assessment of land-use values in this study was conducted to:
a) Determine the range of values of several communities within the Shires/City surrounding the Glen Rock Property about the land uses that may influence decisions for State managed or owned lands in the area
b) Assess the socio-demographic characteristics of the community and
c) Evaluate the use of Multicriteria Analysis tools in determining community values.
Results indicated that the aggregate community ranked Catchment Protection and Water Quality, Nature Conservation, Outdoor Education and Research and Outdoor Recreation as the four highest assigned values. Quarrying, Military Training and Forest Grazing were the least preferred when optimising community benefits in the management of State-owned or managed lands. Among the three attributes (environmental, economic and socio-cultural) of possible land uses, the aggregate community perceived environmental attribute as the highest ranked, with almost similar preference for economic and socio-cultural benefits.
The findings of this study cannot accurately predict community attitudes and support of management plans for State-owned and managed lands. Basic social values need to be assessed in the future and the intricate relationship between social values, land use values and attitudes towards forest management schemes explored. This would provide a more accurate prediction of the support of the community regarding sustainable management of such lands. An appropriate framework for the inclusion of community inputs such as assigned values in the overall planning and management process also needs to be investigated.